(R21HD083335-01; Web-based Intervention to Improve Executive Functioning in Teens with Epilepsy)
Adolescents with epilepsy are at significant risk for poor social and academic outcomes, neurobehavioral comorbidities (i.e., internalizing and externalizing symptoms), and poor treatment adherence. Studies have shown that one potential reason for these poor outcomes are deficits in executive functioning (EF), defined as the skills necessary for goal-directed and complex activities, including problem-solving, initiation, monitoring, organization, planning, self-regulation and working memory.
EF deficits have been documented in 1/3 of youth with epilepsy, which is 3 times the prevalence in healthy youth. Evidence-based interventions to improve EF could play a critical role in preventing adverse outcomes (e.g., psychological comorbidities, non-adherence to the treatment regimen) and promoting optimal functioning in adolescents with epilepsy; however none exists for this vulnerable population.
The aim of the study was to develop an individually-tailored intervention to improve EF in adolescents with epilepsy (Epilepsy Journey) through an iterative, patient-centered process that includes: 1) identification of the unique needs of adolescents with epilepsy and their families based on focus group feedback (Phase 1), and 2) usability testing of a revised intervention protocol to elicit feedback on the applicability, content, and individualized approach (Phase 2). Our primary outcomes from this study have been published and we are examining our secondary outcomes currently.
Learn more about this research from Dr. Modi.