Medication management by the person with epilepsy: Perception versus reality

Janice M. Buelow, Michael C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Purpose. In an attempt to understand if perception of medication management matched actual medication management, we examined epilepsy patients' perceptions of their overall medication management and their actual management. Methods. The investigators interviewed 25 adults with refractory epilepsy regarding perceptions of their past overall medication management. Following the interview, each subject received the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) and was asked to use it for 1 month. For the 21 persons who used and returned the caps, a score for compliance was calculated by dividing the number of compliant days by the total number of days. Results. Four participants stated that they may sometimes forget to take their medications, and three patients said that they self-regulated their medications to fit their lifestyle. The self-regulation was not reflected in the MEMS cap data. Fourteen participants reported that it was not difficult to manage their medication regimen. MEMS cap data showed that 11 participants had a compliance score greater than 80% and 10 had a compliance score lower than 34%, but patients' perceptions of their past overall compliance did not differ between these groups. Conclusion. Although 14 of the participants reported that managing their medications was not a problem, MEMS cap data suggested that 10 of the participants did have difficulties managing their medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • Anti-epileptic medications
  • Compliance
  • Medication Event Monitoring System caps
  • Patient perception
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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