Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures treated with psychotherapy: Long-term outcome on seizures and healthcare utilization

8 Citations (Scopus)


Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are known to be associated with significant costs of healthcare services. Here, we report the impact of psychotherapy on behavior surrounding healthcare utilization and the potential economic benefits associated with long-term seizure control.

METHODS: This retrospective study describes patients seen between 2010 and 2016 at the epilepsy clinic at Glostrup University Hospital in Denmark and offered a psychotherapeutic treatment program for PNES. Forty-two patients were interviewed about seizure outcome 12-24 months after psychotherapy, and the annual changes in healthcare utilization and associated costs of services provided in a period of 24 months before and up to 24 months after treatment were compared.

RESULTS: At 12-month follow-up, 83% of the patients had achieved above 50% reduction in seizures. The 24-month pretreatment costs compared with the 24-month posttreatment costs directly associated with seizures dropped by 95.8%, and total healthcare costs were reduced by 63%. Estimation of annual savings from the program comes to 1060 € per patient. An association was found between seizure rate and number of healthcare contacts.

CONCLUSION: This study adds to the evidence that psychotherapy is a cost-effective way of treating PNES. The economic benefits from this form of intervention appear not only to diminish costs directly associated with PNES, but also healthcare utilization in general.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue numberPt A
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Economical
  • Economy
  • Healthcare
  • PNES
  • Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
  • Psychotherapy


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