Improving Folic Acid Supplementation Rates in Women of Childbearing Age With Epilepsy

Puja Patel, Jules C. Beal, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: This study aims to improve the rate of folic acid supplementation to adolescent women with epilepsy on an antiepileptic drug (AED) regimen seen by the pediatric neurology providers at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, in compliance with the 2009 American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society practice parameter. Methods: We designed a quality improvement study with implementation of a series of interventions and compared folic acid supplementation rates before and after intervention. We made additional comparisons based on specific age groups (12 to 15 years and 16 to 21 years) and a diagnosis with or without developmental impairment. Results: A review of 1850 charts from 2004 to 2015 showed an average folic acid prescription rate of 41%. Supplementation rates gradually increased to 52.2%, 58.5%, 60.3%, and finally up to 81.6% after this respective intervention: initial email reminder, provider education, posting signs in examination rooms, and implementation of an electronic medical record best practice advisory. There was improvement across all categories, in both age groups (12 to 15 years and 16 to 21 years) and in those with or without developmental impairment. There was a trend for higher compliance rates in adolescents without developmental impairment. Conclusions: Our interventions resulted in an increase in folic acid supplementation rates of adolescent women with epilepsy. These results are encouraging. We plan to extend education about the recommendations for folic acid supplementation to non-neurology providers, as well as expand to apply our interventions and assess adherence to other defined epilepsy quality measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Neurology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • antiepileptic drug
  • folic acid
  • practice parameter
  • quality improvement
  • women with epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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