Women living with epilepsy, experiences of pregnancy and reproductive health: A review of the literature

Weckesser, A. and Denny, E. (2013) Women living with epilepsy, experiences of pregnancy and reproductive health: A review of the literature. Seizure, 22 (2). pp. 91-98. ISSN 10591311 (ISSN)

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Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the experiences of pregnancy in women living with epilepsy through a review and synthesis of existing literature. Methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted in medical and social science databases to identify qualitative research, and questionnaires that included open-ended questions, which reported on the impact of epilepsy on the lives of pregnant women from preconception to post-delivery. The search was widened to include qualitative studies on pregnancy and issues of reproduction with women living with chronic illness that had at least one woman with epilepsy in the sample. The systematic search, carried out from April to June 2012, identified 17 publications that met the inclusion criteria, and 24 publications that did not. Qualitative results from these studies were categorised into: stage of pregnancy (preconception, pregnancy, and postnatal); case studies of patients' experiences; and the reproductive health experiences of women living with chronic illness. Results: One qualitative study was identified that directly investigated women's experiences of epilepsy during pregnancy. Many of the findings from the 16 remaining publications were found to be limited in generalisability due to small sample sizes and/or the poor quality of data. Conclusion: Qualitative research on women's experiences of pregnancy whilst living with epilepsy is needed to address this critical gap in knowledge. This paper calls for improved preconception, pregnancy and postnatal supports and information for women living with this condition. © 2012 British Epilepsy Association.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chronic illness, Epilepsy, Experience, Pregnancy, Qualitative research, ambivalence, chronic disease, decision making, disability, drug efficacy, epilepsy, female, genetic screening, health service, human, inheritance, life history, oral contraception, perinatal period, pregnancy, pregnancy outcome, pregnant woman, priority journal, qualitative research, reproductive health, review, sociology, systematic review, systematic review (topic), teratogenesis, unplanned pregnancy, weight gain, Epilepsy, Female, Humans, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Prenatal Care, Reproductive Health, Women
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
Divisions: UoA Collections > UoA 03: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing & Pharmacy
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research (C-SHARR) > Family Health
Depositing User: Hussen Farooq
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2017 07:19
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2017 07:19
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2701

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