Introduction We analysed general symptom burden in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). A comparison was made between those who accept and those who do not accept the diagnosis of PNES (Thaller, Hyland, Kandasamy, & Sadler, 2016).
Method A questionnaire-based pilot study of newly diagnosed psychogenic nonepileptic seizure patients was carried out. PNES diagnosis had to be confirmed by video electroencephalograph. The questionnaire was a 59-item general symptom questionnaire, with frequency (scores) ranging from never (0) to every day (5). Next, we performed blinded assessment of the patient's acceptance of diagnosis.
Results We collected data on 13 patients over the five month period. Eight accepted the diagnosis, and five did not. Diagnosis acceptance correlated with a significantly lower overall symptom score (p<0.001) and significantly lower symptom scores in seven symptom subscales – of which there were 10 in total.
Conclusion Symptom burden and distribution of psychogenic nonepileptic seizure patients differs between those accepting, versus those not accepting diagnosis. The complexity of additional symptoms may contribute to poorer outcomes in those that do not accept the psychogenic nonepileptic seizure diagnosis. The next step would be to collect similar data on a larger number of these patients.