Identifying Gaps in Access to Accurate Information on Epilepsy Surgery: Daniel Correa, MD, MSc


The neurologist at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, provided insight on the need to improve online resources that provide epilepsy surgery information to patients. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"[Patients] need to understand [adverse] effects of either the procedure or medication. They need to understand how well that surgery would work, as well as other different types of surgery options and how they might fit."

Considered underutilized by some in the field, epilepsy surgery represents an alternative option for patients with medically refractory epilepsy who’ve failed previous medications. Although these procedures are not necessarily new, awareness of the benefits they bring, and the online information of them, is lacking. At the 2023 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held April 22-27, in Boston, Massachusetts, a group of investigators from Montefiore presented preliminary data on an analysis observing online health education materials of epilepsy surgery in the US.

Led by Daniel Correa, MD, MSc, the study used a private browser Google search of the top 100 search results for the terms "epilepsy + surgery," excluding papers, insurance pages, pay-well limited, and non-text content. The preliminary analysis, which yielded 76 websites and 24 exclusions, showed that the inclusion rate of surgical complication content is positively correlated with non-level 4 epilepsy centers (78.9% vs 23.8%; P <.001), community health websites (100% vs 25.0%; P <.001) and non-US-based organizations (100% vs 29.2%; P = .02). Above all, the investigators concluded that the findings suggest academic organizations, including level 4 epilepsy centers, need to broaden online health education resources for epilepsy surgery, thus improving what was considered relatively incomplete community health literacy.

Correa, a neurologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, sat down with NeurologyLive® at AAN 2023 to discuss the research, including the motivations behind it. In the interview, Correa provided perspective about the issues with trusting online sources, and the importance of relaying information about epilepsy surgery to patients with epilepsy, regardless if they are eligible.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2023.

1. Ho S, Seneviratne N, Correa D. Online information gaps in access in community health literacy about epilepsy surgery: a preliminary content analysis of online health education materials in the United States. Presented at: 2023 AAN Annual Meeting; April 22-27; Boston, MA. Abstract 002251
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