A cross-sectional survey on French psychiatrists’ knowledge and perceptions of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
Epilepsy & Behavior. 2016-07-01; 60: 21-26
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1. Epilepsy Behav. 2016 Jul;60:21-26. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.04.023. Epub 2016
A cross-sectional survey on French psychiatrists’ knowledge and perceptions of
psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.
Aatti Y(1), Schwan R(1), Maillard L(2), McGonigal A(3), Micoulaud-Franchi JA(4),
de Toffol B(5), El-Hage W(6), Hingray C(7).
(1)Faculty of Medicine, Nancy-University, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France;
Psychiatry Department, Psychotherapeutic Center of Nancy, CPN, Laxou, France.
(2)University Hospital of Nancy, Department of Neurology, Nancy Cedex, France;
CRAN, UMR7039, CNRS, Nancy University, Nancy, France.
(3)Aix Marseille Université, Inserm UMR S 1106, Marseille, France.
(4)Service d’explorations fonctionnelles du système nerveux, clinique du sommeil,
CHU de Bordeaux, place Amélie-Raba-Léon, 33076 Bordeaux, France.
(5)UMR INSERM U930, Université François Rabelais de Tours, Tours, France; CHRU de
Tours, Clinique Psychiatrique Universitaire, Tours, France.
(6)CHRU de Tours, Service de neurologie et neurophysiologie clinique, Hôpital
Bretonneau, Tours, France; CHRU de Tours, Clinique Psychiatrique Universitaire,
(7)Psychiatry Department, Psychotherapeutic Center of Nancy, CPN, Laxou, France;
University Hospital of Nancy, Department of Neurology, Nancy Cedex, France.
Electronic address: .
OBJECTIVE: The principal aim of the study was two-fold: to determine French
psychiatrists’ level of general knowledge of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
(PNES) and to evaluate their perceptions of this condition in a standardized way.
The secondary aim was to describe the relationship between level of education and
knowledge of PNES and level of experience of case management and perceptions of
METHODS: In this study, psychiatrists were invited by email to answer an online
survey. The questionnaire asked about their general knowledge of PNES, and
perceptions of PNES were scored using the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire
RESULTS: We received 1242 replies, and data from 963 respondents were included.
The survey revealed that three-quarters of psychiatrists working in France (75%)
had never received any training on PNES, and 42% had never managed patients
suffering from PNES. In general, participants considered PNES to be a chronic
disease with significant impact on patients’ quality of life. Although
psychiatrists were aware of the importance of psychological trauma in the
etiology of PNES, they showed only moderate understanding of this pathology.
Terminology and classification of these disorders were poorly known, and the
relation between PNES and histrionic personality was massively overvalued. Prior
training on PNES was associated with a better level of knowledge and different
perceptions of trained psychiatrists compared with that of psychiatrists with no
CONCLUSIONS: The condition of PNES remains relatively unknown to French
psychiatrists, and some of their perceptions were inaccurate. Specific training
seems essential for a better understanding of PNES.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PMID: 27176880 [Indexed for MEDLINE]