ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

Font Size: 
Screening for Mental Health Problems in Children and Young People with Epilepsy and Early Management in the Clinic Setting
Ailsa McLellan, Suzanne Felix, Catriona George, Kirsten Verity, Michelle Small, Celia Brand, Richard Chin, Jay Shetty

Last modified: 2018-09-12



Children and Young people with epilepsy (CYPE) have high rates of mental health problems(MHP). The availability of mental health services (MHS) are variable throughout the world. A timely assessment and management tool within the epilepsy clinic setting is desirable to address this issue.


CYPE (5-18 years) at mainstream school and not known to MHS completed screening questionnaires (SDQ, PEDS-QL) at the epilepsy clinic, which were immediately scored by the psychologist. A traffic light metaphor was developed (green- no concerns, amber- some concern, red – serious concern) as a means of communicating the level of difficulty identified. This was fed back immediately to families along with the potential route through the intervention pathway (self-guided help, Psychosocial Intervention for Epilepsy (PIE) group, 3rd Sector referral, Parent workshops and MHS referral).


132 CYPE completed the screening questionnaires. 37% had serious level of concern (5% in normal population) in emotional, conduct, hyperactivity and peer relations domains. Relevant self-guided help was given to CYPE before they left the clinic and referrals were made to PIE group, parents group and 3rd sector and MHS. For the CYPE who were referred to MHS the screening gave more robust information to allow more timely assessment in MHS. Clinicians, CYPE and parents found this extremely helpful.


This novel approach of timely identification and management of CYPE with MPH in the epilepsy clinic improves quality of life and avoids further deterioration in MHP.


Psychological problems; Neuro-psychology Screening; Epilepsy and Psychological Health

Conference registration is required in order to view papers.