Epilepsy & Behavior | 2021
Working restrictions and disability benefits eligibility in patients with functional (psychogenic) seizures: An international survey of physicians’ opinions
OBJECTIVES\nIn this international study, we aimed to investigate the opinions of physicians dealing with patients with functional seizures (FS) worldwide on working restrictions and disability benefits eligibility.\n\n\nMETHODS\nInternational online survey of neurologists/mental health professionals from Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Italy, France, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Georgia, and Russia.\n\n\nRESULTS\nSix hundred and twenty-seven physicians from 12 countries participated in the study. Working as a neurologist was a predictor to think that patients with FS should not be counseled to avoid performing all jobs or professions as long as they have active disease (OR: 0.46; 95% CI: 0.30 to 0.68; p\u202f<\u202f0.001). Having managed more than 200 patients was associated with the opinion that patients should not be counseled to avoid performing any type of work (OR: 2.17; 95% CI: 1.02 to 4.59; p\u202f=\u202f0.043). Working as a psychiatrist/psychologist was associated with the idea that patients with FS should be qualified for disability benefits (OR: 1.97; 95% CI: 1.21-3.21; p\u202f=\u202f0.006), and receive these benefits lifelong (OR: 0.43; 95% CI: 0.22-0.84; p\u202f=\u202f0.014).\n\n\nCONCLUSION\nNeurologists and mental health professionals have different attitudes and opinions toward working restrictions and disability benefits for patients with FS. Further studies should investigate the reasons for these differences, and propose solutions to avoid discrimination and unequal access to employment and disability benefits.