A new epilepsy website for Australian GPs is now online. The web-based information under the banner of eGP – epilepsy in general practice, was created by Dr Rosemary Panelli an epilepsy researcher and general practice manager. The site aims to promote enhanced support of people with epilepsy in primary care.
Having worked in the epilepsy field before moving into general practice Dr Panelli says she has observed that GPs are the missing link in epilepsy care. ‘GPs see fewer patients with epilepsy than other chronic conditions and they have little opportunity to develop epilepsy experience. They are unclear about the contribution they can make to the management of people with epilepsy' she said.
‘Australians with epilepsy have access to quality specialist referrals which is a key to successful management, but patients would benefit from the day-to day monitoring and education for self-management that informed GPs and practice nurses can provide. There are many general health issues and comorbidities associated with epilepsy including mood disorders, reproductive and social issues that patients need to discuss with their GPs' Dr Panelli said.
'Epilepsy carries a risk of injury, and even death, so regular risk assessment in conjunction with a GP should be an important part of a patient's ongoing epilepsy care' Dr Panelli said.
Dr Panelli said 'Medicare promotes support for people with chronic disease at the primary health level but GPs overlook this option for patients with epilepsy. I hope that the eGP initiative will help to engage GPs in epilepsy management , thereby improving health outcomes and quality of life for people with epilepsy'.
Contact Rosey Panelli 0438 931 120
Video link: Rosey shared some thoughts about the need for improved epilepsy care at a recent epilepsy congress in India
eGP has been developed by Dr Rosey Panelli
Dr Rosey Panelli is an epilepsy researcher who also works as the manager of a busy general practice in country Victoria. She believes that there is much that can be done at the primary care level to improve health outcomes for people with epilepsy.
Rosey has worked in the epilepsy field since 1995, developing programs and resources for patient support and community education. Her interest in epilepsy-related health policies and service led her to pursue a Master of Public Health and PhD.
Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) has been an issue of particular concern in Australia for almost 20 years and Rosey has been involved in SUDEP action from the beginning, actively fostering international collaboration where possible. She served on the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) Commission for Risks and Insurability and the IBE Research Committee. IN 2011 she received the Ambassador for Epilepsy Award.
Rosey is an honorary fellow of the University of Melbourne where she is currently studying epilepsy death recorded in the National Coronial Information System (NCIS). She is also the part-time International Research Officer for SUDEP Action UK.
Rosey believes that GPs are currently the missing link in epilepsy care. ‘Australia has good epilepsy specialist care in place but GPs need to actively participate in the day to day monitoring and education of people with epilepsy. GPs can make a unique and powerful contribution to the education of epilepsy-related risk and comorbidity, and the promotion of well-being in people living with epilepsy’, she says. She has recently launched a website for GPs called eGP at www.epilepsyingeneralpractice.com and coedited the SUDEP website at www.sudepglobalconversation.com
Rosemary believes thet GPs are currently the missing link in epilepsy care. 'Australia has good epilepsy specialist care in place but GPs need to actively participate in the day to day monitoring and education of people with epilepsy. GPs can make a unique and powerful contribution to the reduction of epilepsy-related risk and comorbidity, and the promotion of well-being in people living with epilepsy' she says.