Self-Management of Epilepsy: A Review of the Concept and Its Outcomes
Janice M. Buelow
Development of self-management skills for the people with epilepsy is important to maintain optimum health. Self-management has been primarily conceptualised in the research literature as compliance. A conceptual analysis of self-management provided a framework for this literature review and suggested that self-management encompasses 3 domains. The first domain, prescription management, may best be understood as compliance. The second domain is seizure management, and includes both strategies to control seizures and strategies to control the consequences of seizures. The third domain, life management, includes techniques to manage situations that arise as a result of having epilepsy. A study that focused on the perception of self-management by people with epilepsy provided expanded information about the importance of self-management to these persons. Two management profiles emerged from the study - a proactive management profile and a reactive management profile. Those with a proactive management style scored higher on the quality-of-life scale than those with a reactive style. There was no difference in their percentage of compliance. A conceptual framework for self-management is introduced that suggests that the 3 domains of self-management are interactive and that a natural outcome of self-management is quality of life.
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