Quality of Life Research Update – Ms. Mary Secco

Clinic To Community (C2C) is a referral program for individuals with a seizure disorder or a diagnosis of epilepsy. The C2C program was developed by Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario and offers information, support and training tools to help navigate the different aspects of an epilepsy diagnosis. Their recent report, Voices from the Community, highlights the program’s achievements during the demonstration period between January 2015 and July 2017.

During this time, 1063 individuals with epilepsy and their families were referred to C2C and received a 60-minute education session on how to best manage their epilepsy. Of the patients who enrolled, 87% of children and 68% of adults had experienced one or more seizures in the past year. The C2C sessions also provided an opportunity for parents to express their fears about what the future might hold for their child. After meeting with a C2C educator, 71% of parents reported feeling less anxious about their child’s epilepsy diagnosis, and 64% believed that the education session would help them to manage their child’s seizures.

C2C also aims to bring epilepsy awareness to the wider community. In the demonstration period, they delivered 28 professional development sessions to a total of 353 health care providers, focusing on the psychosocial needs of people with epilepsy. In addition, C2C educators visited 67 different classrooms and delivered epilepsy education sessions to over 2000 elementary school students. As a result of their teacher training program, over 1100 school staff received specialized training about epilepsy.

The C2C program connects individuals with a wide network of support services, and advocates for increased availability of mental health resources and social supports. C2C also aims to reduce unnecessary emergency department visits related to seizures and epilepsy. After attending the sessions, 86% of participants reported that the C2C session made them more confident in identifying when a seizure is a medical emergency.

C2C is committed to responding to the needs of the community, and the program is shaped by feedback from participants. In the near future, C2C hopes to offer the program across Ontario so that all individuals and families can get the information and support they need to live well with epilepsy.

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