Epilepsy Information


A descriptive study of patients diagnosed with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures at a tertiary epilepsy center in the Czech Republic: One-year follow-up

Authors: Krámská L, Myers L, Hrešková L, Jerie M, Vojtěch Z

To delineate sociodemographic data of a large sample of Czech Republic patients diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) at the time of diagnosis and at a follow-up visit one year after discharge. This study collected reports of past stressors, quality of relationships in childhood, family background, traumatic events, and recent adversities in patients diagnosed with PNES.


Patients (219w/79m, 37.56 (13.15) years, 12.13 (2.05) years of education) were assessed through a semi-structured interview on clinical and historical data while they were inpatients at the Epilepsy Center, Na Homolce Hospital, Prague. Subsequently, they were re-evaluated one year after discharge from the hospital with the same method. A comparison of this sample to normal controls was subsequently conducted.

We found a higher female (73.5%) predominance; mean duration of seizures was 69.14 months. The majority of patients were single (46.13%) or divorced (16.84%), and 48% received disability benefits. A diversity of developmental risk factors as well as immediate precursors of PNES onset were identified. One year after hospitalization, significant changes were found in all seizure and healthcare characteristics of our sample. When compared to healthy volunteers, the patients also presented with a higher prevalence of stressors and traumatic events in childhood.

Cross-cultural research contributes important information on the universal components of PNES as well as the unique features observed in distinct localities of differing cultures and ethnicities. This study allows for comparison of sociodemographic features in a Central European sample to the more frequently studied English-speaking samples.