An exploration of epileptic and nonepileptic seizures : an interpretative phenomenological analytic study

Featherstone, Valerie Anne

Medicine
March 2010

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2010 Valerie Anne Featherstone. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

Background
Differentiating epileptic seizures from non epileptic seizures (NES) has always been difficult. Seizures can look very similar, substantial physical injury and incontinence can occur in both conditions and people can have both conditions simultaneously. Treatment for each condition is very different however, epilepsy needing anti epileptic medication whereas NES is a psychologically rooted condition.

Aims
To develop previous work
To document a number of detailed seizures descriptions and to analyse these
using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
To identify linguistic markers to differentiate NES from epilepsy

Methodology
This project used IPA as a more expansive method of 'history taking' being completely patient led. The approach and its theoretical antecedents have been described in depth in the thesis. Four newly referred patients with uncertain diagnoses were interviewed once, three twice. There was additional, contextual data.

Results
The interpretation illustrated that subjective seizure experiences using IPA can contribute to previous work:
It heralded the potential beginnings of the development of an alternative 'seizure discourse' for lay and professionals.
It had the potential to contribute to patient information material and a screening tool.
It offered new ideas for clinical practice and research.

Discussion
As an approach, IPA has the potential to combine its findings with those in the field of neurophenomenology in terms of expanding knowledge of corresponding subjective experiences.

Conclusions
Given that subjective experiences of people can help locate seizure foci, IPA has the potential for establishing itself as a qualitative scientific research approach in the area of seizure experiences.

Publisher
Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Campion, Peter; Sandfield, Anna
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
Filesize: 9 MB
Identifier
hull:5769
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