Epilepsy Information


Report on a psychoeducational intervention for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in Argentina

Authors: Korman, G. P; Sarudiansky, M; Lanzillotti, A. I; Areco Pico, M; Tenreyro, C; Valdez Paolasini, G; D´Alessio, Luciana; Scevola, Laura; Silvia Kochen; Myers, L.

To examine the effects of a three-session psychoeducational intervention on patients diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in an Argentinian public hospital. It was hypothesized that patients would experience improvements in their understanding of PNES, illness perception and affective scores, but might not necessarily experience a significant change in post-traumatic and dissociative symptoms and in seizure frequency.


This study included 12 patients (10 women, 2 men) who were invited to participate in a psychoeducational group after receiving a V-EEG confirmed diagnosis of PNES. The group consisted of 3 sessions lasting 2 h each. Pre and post measures included Psychoeducational Intervention Questionnaire, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Diagnostic Scale 5, Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES-M).

This psychoeducational intervention produced results that were similar to interventions reported in US and European studies with regard to changes on psychological measures. Moreover, many patients also reported (on the final day of the intervention) a decrease in seizure frequency. All patients reported that participating in the intervention was a positive experience. Also, all but one patient referred that the participation in the group would have a positive impact on their quality of life.

Psychoeducational interventions appear to have had positive results in Argentinian patients with PNES. This is initial step in the design of empirically based psychoeducational/supportive initiatives for patients in South America.