Objectives: To examine the prevalence, psychiatric co-morbidity and management of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in patients admitted to a tertiary referral Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU).
Methods: Medical records of patients admitted to the EMU between 2003 and 2005 were examined and data from neurological, neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological assessments were analysed.
Results: Over a three year period 224 patients were referred to the EMU and 44 (20%) were diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). A total of 13 people (6%) were diagnosed with both PNES and epilepsy. Of those diagnosed with PNES 34 (75%) were referred to psychology services for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and 26 (58%) were followed-up by psychiatry services.
Conclusions: The prevalence rates for PNES and co-existing PNES and epilepsy are consistent with previous reports. Rates of psychiatric co-morbidity were less than would be expected in this clinical population. Clear evidence-based guidelines to manage people with PNES are required.