“We know, for example, one thing that works across age groups is problem-solving—specifically identifying what is getting in the way of adherence.”

Despite the essential need for control of their seizures, many patients with epilepsy struggle with adherence. A number of these patients are refractory, and a large group are also younger in age—teenagers and adolescents—making adherence a difficult challenge to tackle for those providing their treatment.

At the 73rd annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), December 6-10, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland, NeurologyLive sat down with Aimee W. Smith, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, East Carolina University, to discuss this problem. Her best advice for clinicians is to utilize problem-solving to identify what is obstructing the ability to adhere, and then provide a solution on a patient-by-patient basis.

Smith noted that addressing these challenges, such as patients forgetting to take or being unable to afford medication, or even requiring medication delivery, can all be addressed with a little creativity, and by finding what works for what patient. She explained that for those who forget, sometimes a reminder from friends and family is best, while others may only need a daily cellphone reminder.

For more coverage of AES 2019, click here.