Stress and epilepsy: A patient perception survey

Sheryl R. Haut, Mary Vouyiouklis, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


A questionnaire was administered to patients in the Montefiore Medical Center outpatient epilepsy department to assess perceptions about stress, seizures, and stress reduction. Eighty-nine patients completed the questionnaire. Overall, 64% of patients reported the belief that stress increased the frequency of their seizures. This belief was not significantly associated with gender, age, location of care, epilepsy classification, or seizure control, but was significantly associated with a shorter duration of epilepsy (P = 0.04). Thirty-two percent of subjects had tried stress reduction modalities for epilepsy. Of those who had not, 53% were willing to try, and this willingness was significantly associated with a greater number of seizures in the prior 2 months (P = 0.006) and the belief that stress was associated with seizures (P = 0.04). Both major and minor stressors were reported with equal frequency. The majority of our study population believe that stress and seizures are related, and are willing to try stress reduction techniques for seizure control. We believe that these findings indicate a need for a prospective study to evaluate the role of stress and stress reduction as an additional potential therapeutic modality for epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-514
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Alternative therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Epilepsy therapy
  • Seizure control
  • Stress
  • Stress reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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