Development of the Epilepsy Risk Awareness scale (ERA scale) for people with epilepsy
Abstract Purpose Quality of life in people with epilepsy depends on balancing protection from risks and avoiding unnecessary restrictions. The Epilepsy Risk Awareness Checklist (ERAC) was developed to summarise an individual’s safety, health care and quality of life and to facilitate communication between professionals. Although effective, the existing Checklist required quantification and shortening to increase its utility, particularly as a longitudinal tool for measuring and communicating changes over time. Methods 5 clinical experts, 3 people with epilepsy and 5 carers assessed the importance of each item on the ERAC questionnaire in a two-round Delphi survey. The refined Epilepsy Risk Awareness scale (ERA scale) was piloted in 30 patients to obtain an overall and sub-scale score for personal safety, health care, and quality of life domains, and was compared with the validated Seizure Severity Scale and Epilepsy Self-Management Scale. Results ERAC was shortened from 69 to 48 items to take 15–20 minutes for completion. Pilot results showed good internal consistency for the overall ERA scale, for the Personal Safety and Health Care subscales, but less for the Quality of Life subscale. There was strong association between ERA scale and the Epilepsy Self-Management Scale, but little relationship with Seizure Severity Scale scores, which focus on individual seizures. User ratings were high. Conclusions The ERA scale has been shortened and quantified to provide an objective measure of the risks and safety profile in people with epilepsy. The scale will be further tested for intra-rater variability and utility.