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New study of veterans seeks to help improve epilepsy care

Posted by
Amy Chandler, Public Relations & Communications, UCB Inc.
A key pillar of our work to improve outcomes for people with serious diseases lies in understanding patients. It is important to know how symptoms affect people’s lives, whether and why patients adhere to treatments, and how they communicate with their healthcare providers.

This is what inspired our collaboration with PatientsLikeMe in 2010 when we surveyed members of its online epilepsy community. That research showed that people living with epilepsy who joined the PatientsLikeMe community better understood their own seizures and improved adherence to their medication.

Now UCB is supporting PatientsLikeMe and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) as they conduct the Policy for Optimal Epilepsy Management (POEM) study, which aims to better understand what factors improve health outcomes for veterans with epilepsy. According to ECoE, an estimated 5.6 million veterans visit VA Medical Centers each year, and approximately 66,000 of these veterans are diagnosed with seizures or epilepsy.

The goal is to deepen our understanding of how we could improve care for people with epilepsy. This could mean finding ways to support the epilepsy patient community in communicating with their physicians about managing symptoms and side effects, potentially leading to better disease management.

The POEM study is a great example of how UCB can work with patient organizations and healthcare providers to conduct research which could potentially benefit the broader epilepsy community.