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Michaelis, Rosa; Schiepek, Guenter; Heinen, Gerd Maria; Edelhaeuser, Friedrich and Viol, Kathrin (2021): Process-oriented and personalized psychotherapeutic care for epilepsy: Interim results of a feasibility study. In: Epilepsy & Behavior, Vol. 124, 108313

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Background: There is great scientific and clinical interest in the effective integration of psychological treatments into comprehensive epilepsy care to optimize treatment outcomes and psychosocial function-ing in people with epilepsy. Stepped care is a promising approach to accommodate personalized psy-chotherapeutic care in academic and regular outpatient settings. It aims at providing patients with the most adequate treatment duration, number of sessions, and treatment method while systematically monitoring their treatment processes. Methods: This is an uncontrolled feasibility study of process-oriented and personalized psychotherapeu-tic care for epilepsy in a naturalistic setting. The objective of this study was to evaluate individual changes of health-related quality of life (QOLIE-31) and psychiatric comorbidity (BDI-II, BSI) in partici-pants by applying the concept of the reliable change index (RCI) to outcomes that were obtained at base-line and six months after the beginning of the intervention. Additionally, we assessed the relationship between outcome scores, the number of attended sessions, and history of childhood trauma by linear regression models. Results: Twenty patients [15 women/5 men, median age 48 years (range: 23-73 years)] were recruited. The median number of scheduled sessions was 11 (range: 6-22);there were no drop-outs. After psy-chotherapy quality of life (QOLIE-31), global distress (BSI) and depression (BDI-II) scores improved signif-icantly (p-values: QOLIE-31: 0.03;BSI: 0.01;BDI-II: 0.01). The largest improvements were achieved for the emotional well-being subscale of the QOLIE-31 (47%, p-value: 0.02), the global severity index of the BSI (83%), and depression severity (BDI-II) (60%). Linear regression models did not reveal any signif-icant association between interim changes, number of attended treatment sessions, and history of child-hood trauma. Conclusion: The results suggest that process-oriented and personalized psychotherapeutic has low attri-tion and results in improved quality of life and reduced psychiatric symptoms in people with epilepsy. Our findings indicate that responsiveness to psychotherapy is not dependent on the number of attended treatment sessions. Participants with childhood trauma did not need more treatment sessions to achieve an improvement. More research is needed to understand and address mechanisms and precursors of responsiveness to psychotherapy. (c) 2021 ELSEVIER. All rights reserved.

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