The University of Texas Prevention Research Center

Managing Epilepsy Well: Collaborating Center for Epilepsy Self-Management Intervention Research

Project Description


Project team: (back row from left) Ross Shegog, Michael Newmark, Charles Begley, Biebele Iyagba, David Friedman, (front row from left) Stephanie Dubinsky, Nikki Ojukwu, (not pictured) Vincent Chen

This two-year project will develop and pilot test a clinic-based decision-support system (DSS) to enhance the self-management behavior of patient’s with epilepsy and patient-provider communication during regular clinic visits. This work builds on an existing study of self-management behaviors and antecedent factors in epilepsy at two clinical sites in Houston, Texas.

The proposed DSS, mounted on a personal digital assistant platform, will be accessed by the patient in the waiting room prior to seeing their health care provider (HCP) during their regular clinic visit.

The patient will input clinical, behavioral, and psychosocial data regarding their epilepsy and its management. Based on the patient management profile the DSS will then provide both the patient and the HCP information of the patient’s self-management needs, recommendations on important discussion points for the clinic visit, patient management goals, and suggestions for a patient self-management ‘action plan’ subsequent to the clinic visit.

Aims of this project are to:

  1. Develop a screening tool for identifying patient self-management needs based on clinical, behavioral, and psychosocial variables (Months 1-6).
  2. Develop the theoretically- and empirically-based decision support content to guide self-management intervention strategies for patients and providers and develop associated design documentation (Months 7-11).
  3. Program the tools and procedures for the decision support system prototype into a PDA application (PDA-DSS) and test its usability (Months 12-15).
  4. Pilot test the PDA-DSS on a small sample of patients (n=20) at two clinic sites and evaluate its feasibility, usability, and perceived value (to patients and HCPs) within the regular clinic visit (Months 16-24).
  5. Disseminate study findings.

By providing tools and procedures for identifying and assisting patients with self-management needs, this study will make a significant contribution to the goal of promoting self-management and self-determination principles in the care of people with epilepsy.

The clinic-based decision support system provides an innovative technological application to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge from social and behavioral research on self-management into clinical practice.


For more information on this project, contact the Principal Investigators:

Charles E. Begley
(713) 500-9179

Ross Shegog
(713) 500-9677


Funding Agency

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



Socioeconomic status and self-management in epilepsy: comparison of diverse clinical populations in Houston, Texas.

The prevention research centers’ managing epilepsy well network.

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