The experience of living with adult-onset epilepsy.

Stephanie Kilinc, Anna Van Wersch, Carol Campbell, Alison Guy

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The incidence and prevalence of adults diagnosed with epilepsy is higher compared to those diagnosed in childhood, yet the experience of living with adult-onset epilepsy has rarely been examined. Hence, the current study took a phenomenological approach to examining the experience of living with epilepsy following diagnosis in adulthood. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 39 people from across the UK, diagnosed with epilepsy between the ages of eighteen and sixty, at two points in time, six months apart. Phenomenological analysis identified three central themes: the unpredictability of seizure occurrence; the ripple effect; and re-evaluating the future. Despite the accepted consensus in the epilepsy literature that living and coping with epilepsy becomes more difficult the older a person is diagnosed, the current findings indicated that this is inadequate. Rather, it is more suitable to consider that those living with adult-onset epilepsy have a specific experience of the condition and particular support needs, given that they once lived their lives as people without epilepsy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalEpilepsy & behavior : E&B
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017


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