Research Article

Epileptic seizures in a population of 6000. I: Demography, diagnosis and classification, and role of the hospital services.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 03 September 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:641
  1. D M Goodridge,
  2. S D Shorvon


    A total of 122 patients with a history of non-febrile epileptic seizures were identified in a survey of 6000 persons from a single general practice. The lifetime prevalence was 20.3/1000 including single seizures and 17.0/1000 excluding single seizures; 5.3/1000 had active epilepsy. Diagnosis and classification of seizures in such a survey were difficult. Most patients were seen by a hospital specialist at some point, but hospital follow up was sporadic. Overall patient assessment and monitoring was poor. There is a place for specialised epilepsy clinics that could be organised along the lines of the clinics for diabetes. These provide facilities for initial diagnosis and assessment, for planning long term management, for the selected follow up of difficult cases, and for referral for specific problems. Such a system would improve the long term care of patients with epilepsy.