The longitudinal course of adjustment after seizure surgery

Sarah J. Wilson, Peter F. Bladin, Michael M. Saling, Anne M. McIntosh, Jeanette A. Lawrence

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Surgical alleviation of chronic epilepsy can give rise to a process of adjustment as the chronically ill patient learns to become well. This process can manifest clinically as an array of symptoms which we have previously described as the 'burden of normality'. The aim of this study was to explore the longitudinal course of post-operative adjustment by mapping the incidence of symptoms of the burden of normality over a period of 2 years, and examining symptom occurrence relative to seizure outcome. A series of 90 anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) patients was drawn from our Seizure Surgery Follow-up and Rehabilitation Program. All patients were prospectively assessed using the Austin CEP Interview, which covers symptoms of the burden of normality. In total, 66% of patients reported symptoms at some time within the first 2 years of surgery. Symptoms often emerged by the 3 month review, but were still seen frequently in the second year. At the 24 month review, patients who had been seizure free or experienced auras only within the previous 18 months were significantly more likely to report symptoms compared to patients who had experienced complex partial and/or generalized tonic-clonic seizures (P = 0.03). Surgical alleviation of seizures in chronic epilepsy brings with it the burden of normality. Recognition of this syndrome is essential in maximizing patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Post-operative adjustment
  • Psyhosocial outcome
  • Quality of life
  • Seizure outcome
  • Seizure surgery

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