Initial assessment of an interprofessional team-delivered telehealth program for patients with epilepsy

David Rhys Axon, Ann M. Taylor, Dylan Vo, Jennifer Bingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Epilepsy affects 3.5 million people in the United States (US). Rural-dwelling individuals have less access to healthcare and consequently poorer health outcomes. This study describes the outcomes of an interprofessional telehealth program for rural-dwelling individuals with epilepsy in one US state. Methods: An academic medication therapy management pharmacist provided clinical services to rural-dwelling individuals with epilepsy between November 2015 and June 2018, using video-conferencing technology and follow-up telephonic consultation. Data collected included: demographics, prescribed seizure medications, comorbidities, drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, adverse drug reactions, therapeutic duplications, dose-related safety concerns, adherence concerns, and recommendations to resolve identified issues. Data were summarized using appropriate descriptive statistics. Results: A total of 168 patients (51% male, mean age 28 ± 15 years), participated in this pilot study. Most participants (94%) were prescribed at least one seizure medication including: benzodiazepines (n = 89), lamotrigine (n = 58), and levetiracetam (n = 56). The majority (55%) had at least one comorbidity including: mood disorders (n = 49) and psychiatric disorders (n = 26). Common medications with reported precautions for people with a seizure history were: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (n = 18), second-generation atypical antipsychotics (n = 17) and benzodiazepines (n = 16). Participants had at least one: drug-disease interaction (33%), drug-drug interaction (54%), adverse drug reaction (37%), therapeutic duplication (13%); dose-related safety concerns (35%); and medication utilization concerns (13%). Discussion: This pharmacist-delivered pilot program was effective in: reaching underserved patients with epilepsy, identifying and recommending resolutions to medication-related problems, and demonstrating the value of pharmacists in an interprofessional team. Further work is warranted to identify telehealth strategies to reduce medication associated problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106235
JournalEpilepsy Research
Volume158
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Interprofessional
  • Medication-related problems
  • Rural health
  • Telehealth
  • Underserved populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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