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A Descriptive Analysis of Seizure Events Among Adults Who Participated in a Computer‐Based Assessment

DiIorio, Colleen; Reisinger, Elizabeth L.; Yeager, Katherine; Schomer, Donald L.; Henry, Thomas R.; Shafer, Patricia Osborne

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: June 2008 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 134–141
Then & Now

The purpose of this study was to document seizure events associated with the use of a computer‐based assessment and to describe the contextual factors surrounding these seizure episodes. Study participants were adults with epilepsy who were enrolled at research sites in Atlanta and Boston. Subjects were asked to complete a computer‐based assessment at 3 time points. Fourteen seizure events were documented; they occurred during 1.6% of all completed assessments (896) and affected 4.4% of the participants (320). The mean age of participants who experienced seizure events was 41.4 years; about 70% were female, and 70% were white. A variety of possible precipitating factors for seizure events included hunger, fatigue, stress, and medication changes. Participants indicated computer use could have triggered their seizures in 2 instances. These findings suggest use of computer‐based assessments may pose minimal risks for adults with epilepsy, particularly those without a history of photosensitivity epilepsy.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Colleen DiIorio, PhD RN FAAN, at cdiiori@sph.emory.edu. She is a professor in the department of behavioral sciences and health education at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Elizabeth L. Reisinger, MAT, is a graduate research assistant in the department of behavioral sciences and health education at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Katherine Yeager, MS RN, is a research nurse senior in the department of behavioral sciences and health education at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Donald L. Schomer, MD, is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and is in the department of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Thomas R. Henry, MD, is a professor in the department of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN.

Patricia Osborne Shafer, MN RN, is an epilepsy nurse specialist in the department of neurology at the Beth Israel Medical Center, Boston, MA.

© 2008 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses