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Title: The experiences of sleep, mood and dissociation in non-epileptic seizures
Author: Mousa, Saafi
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 0506
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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Introduction: Non-epileptic seizures (NES) refer to seizures and involuntary movements that look like epilepsy but are of unclear aetiology. It has been suggested that a range of psychological factors are important in the development of NES. Recent research has suggested impaired sleep might be a maintaining factor for NES, with some suggesting that sleep may influence seizures via its influence on dissociation. Understanding sleep in NES is important because if poor sleep is a key feature of NES, then treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia, that readily improve sleep in physical and mental health problems, may be worthy of trial in NES. I aimed to explore whether those with NES experienced more subjective or objective impaired sleep, whether this was linked to next day functioning, and if possible, to the occurrence of seizures. Methods: A control group without seizure disorders (N = 20) and a NES sample (N=17) completed baseline questionnaires on sleep, dissociation, anxiety and depression and provided demographic information. Then for 6 consecutive nights wore an Actiwatch activity monitor and completed a daily sleep diary and daily measures of mood and dissociation. The NES sample was also asked to provide seizure frequency details at baseline and daily throughout the study period. Results: Analysis using independent sample t-tests and multi-level modelling suggests that those in the NES group report subjectively and experience objectively poorer sleep. No sleep variables from the preceding night's sleep affected next day mood and dissociation or next day seizure frequency. However, the sample was underpowered for this analysis. Conclusion: Preliminary outcomes show that impaired sleep (both objective and subjective) is a feature of NES and that this could have clinical implications. However, future research with larger samples is required to explore whether sleep might directly influence seizure occurrence, dissociation and mood.
Supervisor: Graham, Christopher ; Latchford, Gary ; Weighall, Anna ; Nash, Hannah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available