Role of Social Determinants in Epilepsy Treatment Delays: Joseph Sirven, MD


The professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic discussed the reasoning for the research he presented at AAN 2021 on social determinants and their impact on epilepsy treatment times.

"That’s where we looked: What’s our treatment delay? What’s our treatment gap after the initial diagnosis? How do these individual determents impact these particular treatment delays?”

Using Arizona Medicaid claims records from 2015 to 2019, researchers aimed to examine the underlying drivers and extent of treatment delays for individuals with epilepsy. Within the study population, they found that the epilepsy treatment gap was at least 40.6%, with mean and median delays in treatment of 180 and 73 days, respectively.

The study was led by Joseph Sirven, MD, and was presented at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, April 17-22. Of the social determinants of health factors investigated, the most significant variables correlating with treatment delays were care setting, age, marital status, race, homelessness, and employment. The researchers concluded that these results underscore the need for a deeper understanding of the complex interplay of social determinants of health factors on epilepsy care.

Sirven, a professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss what prompted him to conduct this study, and the relatively limited literature currently available on social determinants of health in epilepsy.

For more coverage of AAN 2021, click here.

Sirven J, Sprout G, Speer M, Simic G, Reddy S. The role of social determinants in epilepsy treatment delays for Arizonans on Medicaid. Presented at American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract
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