[Opinion] The challenge of paediatric epilepsy nursing: An interview with Mrs. Jenny O'Brien, paediatric epilepsy nursing specialist at the Wirral University Teaching Hospital, UK
- Ioannis N. Mammas
- Demetrios A. Spandidos
Affiliations: Institute of Paediatric Virology, Aliveri, 34500 Island of Euboea, Greece
- Published online on: October 30, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9425
Copyright: © Mammas
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Epilepsy in childhood is one of the most common neurological disorders encountered in paediatric clinical practice. The current treatment of paediatric epilepsy aims to improve health outcomes, as well as to manage the educational, social and psychological issues that are involved in the quality of life of paediatric patients and their parents. In this direction, in several countries, a specialized, comprehensive, multidisciplinary service has been developed, including paediatric epilepsy nursing, which constitute a key component of this service. According to Mrs. Jennifer O'Brien, one of the pioneering paediatric epilepsy nursing specialists in the UK with a significant contribution in the care of children with epilepsy in Merseyside, the mission of paediatric epilepsy nursing is to enable children with epilepsy and their families to live as normal a life as possible, to ensure that all those who care for the child are well‑educated regarding the child's epilepsy and to promote the child's safety and integration into society. She notes that in the past, epilepsy was not considered as a specialty and was looked after by all paediatricians; it is recognised now that it is an incredibly complex group of conditions, which deserves to have specialist management. She believes that although modern technology is crucial in informing and educating families, face to face education and advice is still the most important method of providing support. She highlights the recent advances in genetics of paediatric neurology along with the drive for epilepsy specialists, both nursing and medical, while she estimates that over the following years, paediatric epilepsy nursing will have progressed beyond nowadays expectations.