Original Research

People with Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A South African perspective

Chrisma Pretorius, Gretha Cronje
African Journal of Disability | Vol 4, No 1 | a176 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v4i1.176 | © 2015 Chrisma Pretorius, Gretha Cronje | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2014 | Published: 10 July 2015

About the author(s)

Chrisma Pretorius, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Gretha Cronje, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Background: Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) is a disabling disorder which has a negative effect on the quality of life of individuals with PNES. A clear understanding of the disorder is necessary, however, to date, research about PNES in South Africa is limited.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to explore the demographic variables of individuals with PNES in South Africa, to review the available body of research on PNES, and to compare it with our results.

Method: Twenty-two people with PNES, with confirmed video EEG, were recruited by means of convenience sampling from two hospitals. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographic variables of the participants.

Results: Internationally comparable results revealed misdiagnoses and low treatment delivery amongst a primarily female population.

Conclusion: This study provided greater insight into individuals with PNES in South Africa, highlighting the need for more information, support, effective treatment and accurate diagnosis of PNES.


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