Telemedicine during the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic lockdown: Monitoring stress and quality of sleep in patients with epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2021 Feb 18;118:107864. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107864. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 pandemic heavily hit the western healthcare system saturating the hospital beds in wards and clogging the emergency departments. To avoid the collapse of Italian hospitals, office visits to outpatients were limited to emergencies and the general population went in a lockdown state. Physicians had to approach new problems in the management of chronic patients who could not leave their homes. In our experience as epilepsy clinic, the use of telemedicine was of crucial importance for monitoring our patients: phone call during lockdown let us monitor the stability of our 38 patients and psychometric parameters and habits that could influence seizures frequency. In particular, we found that in our patients, sleep quality was low resulting in high daily sleepiness and associated high stress levels. Secondly, we found an increase in daily screen hours and an association with daily sleepiness. In conclusion, we report our experience in managing people with epilepsy during the lockdown, underlining the utility of telemedicine as a valid monitoring tool and the necessity of a psychometric and behavioral screening.

PMID:33743345 | PMC:PMC7891095 | DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107864