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Women with epilepsy have different needs from men, particularly associated with childbearing. Despite clinical guidelines, the care of women with epilepsy remains suboptimal. The aim of this study was to establish whether women with epilepsy recall being given information on topics relating to childbearing. Design of study and methods included a postal questionnaire study of 795 women with epilepsy and of childbearing age. The respondents were identified through both general practices and hospital clinics as part of the Clinical Standards Advisory Group study into Epilepsy Services. Of those women who considered the questions personally relevant, 38-48% recalled receiving information about contraception, pre-pregnancy planning, folic acid and teratogenicity, with lower overall proportions among adolescent women. The proportions that recalled receiving information about vitamin K, safety in child-care and breast-feeding were lower at 12, 24 and 24%, respectively. While it is recognised that information provided may not be recalled, our results suggest that further measures are required to improve the effectiveness of information provision in the UK in relation to women of childbearing age with epilepsy.

Original publication




Journal article


Epilepsy research

Publication Date





139 - 146


Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK.


Humans, Epilepsy, Pregnancy Complications, Anticonvulsants, Mental Recall, Pregnancy, Adolescent, Adult, Middle Aged, Health Services Research, England, Female, Patient Education as Topic, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Surveys and Questionnaires