WEDNESDAY, May 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For adults with dissociative seizures, cognitive behavioral therapy plus standardized medical care is not associated with a reduced frequency of monthly seizures but does improve secondary outcomes, according to a study published in the June issue of The Lancet Psychiatry.

Laura H. Goldstein, Ph.D., from King’s College London, and colleagues randomly assigned 368 patients with dissociative seizures in the previous eight weeks and no epileptic seizures in the previous 12 months to receive either CBT plus standardized medical care or standardized medical care alone (186 and 182 patients, respectively).

The researchers observed no significant difference in monthly dissociative seizure frequency between the groups at 12 months (median seizures: four versus seven in the group receiving CBT plus standardized medical care versus the group receiving standardized medical care alone; estimated incidence rate ratio, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.56 to 1.09; P = 0.144). In the group receiving CBT plus standardized medical care, dissociative seizures were rated as significantly less bothersome. Participants in the group receiving CBT plus standardized medical care reported better health-related quality of life and less overall psychological distress. In addition, clinical improvement at 12 months was greater in the group receiving CBT plus standardized medical care as reported by patients and clinicians, and satisfaction with treatment was greater.

“This is good news for patients who have often felt misunderstood and health care professionals who have wanted guidance on best practice,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and publishing industries.

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