Development of an online tool to determine appropriateness for an epilepsy; surgery evaluation

Nathalie Jette, Hude Quan, Jose F. Tellez-Zenteno, Sophia Macrodimitris, Walter J. Hader, Elisabeth M.S. Sherman, Lorie D. Hamiwka, Elaine C. Wirrell, Jorge G. Burneo, Amy Metcalfe, Peter D. Faris, Lizbeth Hernandez-Ronquillo, Churl Su Kwon, Andrew Kirk, Samuel Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objectives: Despite evidence that epilepsy surgery is more effective than medical therapy, significant delays between seizure intractability and surgery exist. We aimed to develop a new Webbased methodology to assist physicians in identifying patients who might benefit from an epilepsy surgery evaluation. Methods: The RAND/UCLA appropriateness method was used. Clinical scenarios were developed based on eligibility criteria from previously published surgical series. Thirteen national experts rated the scenarios for their appropriateness for an epilepsy surgery evaluation based on published evidence. All scenarios were rerated after a face-to-face meeting following a modified Delphi process. Appropriate scenarios were rerated for necessity to determine referral priority. Results: Of the final 2646 scenarios, 20.6% (n - 544) were appropriate, 17.2% (n - 456) uncertain, and 61.5% (n - 1626) inappropriate for a surgical evaluation. Of the appropriate cases, 55.9% (n - 306) were rated as very high priority. Not attempting AED treatment was always rated as inappropriate for a referral. Trial of 2 AEDs was usually rated as appropriate unless seizure-free or not fully investigated Based on these data, a Web-based decision tool (www. was created Conclusions: Using the available evidence through 2008 and expert consensus, we developed a Web-based decision tool that provides a guide for determining candidacy for epilepsy surgery evaluations. The tool needs clinical validation, and will be updated and revised regularly. This rendition of the tool is most appropriate for those over age 12 years with focal epilepsy. The Rand/UCLA appropriate methodology might be considered in the development of guidelines in other areas of epilepsy care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1093
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 11 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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