Psychological problems and clinical outcomes of children with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

Yoon Young Yi, Heung Dong Kim, Joon Soo Lee, Keun Ah Cheon, Hoon Chul Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Our purpose was to investigate psychological problems and clinical outcomes in children with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES).

Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the data of 25 patients who were diagnosed with PNES between 2006 and 2012.

Results: Twenty-five children with PNES, aged 8 to 19 years (mean 13.82), were referred to psychiatrists for psychiatric assessment. On their initial visit, 72% of patients had comorbid psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, adjustment disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Among these, depression was the most frequent (36%). Predisposing and triggering factors included familial distress (40%), social distress (24%), and specific events (20%). The following treatment was advised based on the results of the initial psychological assessment: 3 patients regularly visited psychiatric clinic to assess their clinical status without treatment, nine underwent psychotherapy, and 13 received a combination of psychotherapy and psychopharmacological therapy. At the mean follow-up of 31.5 months after diagnosis, 20 patients (80%) were event-free at follow-up, three (12%) showed reduced frequency, and two (8%) experienced persistent symptoms.

Conclusion: The outcomes of PNES in children are much better than those in adults, despite a high rate of psychological comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1556-1561
Number of pages6
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2014.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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