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Emory University: WebEase

Evaluating the effectiveness of epilepsy self-management programs:   WebEase (Epilepsy Awareness, Support and Education)

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Project identifier:
SIP 05-07 Managing Epilepsy Well: Network for Epilepsy Self-Management Coordinating Center

WebEase (Epilepsy Awareness, Support and Education)WebEase (Epilepsy Awareness, Support and Education) was a research study designed to test a web-based self-management program based on social cognitive theory, the transtheoretical model and motivational interviewing.

WebEase consists of three modules: medication, stress, and sleep management. The intervention is designed so that participants spend two weeks in each module.  In the first week for each module, they: 1) assess their readiness to change the selected behavior (medication, stress, or sleep management), 2) complete a stage-of-change-appropriate learning module and 3) are presented with a chance to create a plan for change.  In the second of the two weeks, participants consider their progress towards their original plan and have the chance to make a new plan.  The modules are interactive, so that individuals read information, respond to queries about behavior, and receive feedback based on their responses. As a means of providing information, each module includes quotes from individuals about helpful strategies.  These quotes are linked with pictures and audio.  In addition to the modules, the website contains a discussion board, fact sheets, quizzes, and daily polls.

Dr. Joseph Sirven, Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic Arizona and Editor-in-Chief of, interviews Sandra L. Helmers, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Emory University about WebEase, a tool for the self-management of epilepsy and seizures. Dr. Helmers presented about WebEase during the Shark Tank Competition at the Epilepsy Pipeline Conference 2014.

Listen to the Podcast

The study objectives were to determine if older adolescents and adults who participate in the WebEase program show improvement in epilepsy-related knowledge, medication adherence, stress management, sleep time and quality, and quality of life.  Participants for this study were recruited though epilepsy-based websites and forums, online clinical research matching services, and referrals from health care professionals. Individuals who enrolled in the WebEase study were those who found information about WebEase on their own by searching online epilepsy and research sites, were sent information about WebEase by online clinical research matching services, or learned about WebEase from health care professionals, family, or friends.  After informed consent, participants completed a baseline assessment and were randomly assigned to the intervention (T) or wait list control condition WLC). Participants assigned to the intervention condition began WebEase immediately after completing the baseline assessment, while those in the wait-list control condition waited 6 weeks and completed a second survey before beginning the WebEase program.  Both groups completed a third survey 12 weeks after the baseline assessment. 

Study summary

Participants were randomized to a treatment (T) or waitlist control (WCL) group (n = 148). At follow-up, participants in the T group reported higher levels of medication adherence than those in the WLC group. Analyses were also conducted comparing those who had completed WebEase modules with those who had not. Those who had completed at least some modules within the WebEase program reported higher levels of self-efficacy and a trend toward significance was observed for the group × time interactions for medication adherence, perceived stress, self-management, and knowledge. The results highlight the usefulness of online tools to support self-management among people with epilepsy.

MEW related Publications

DiIorio C, Escoffery C, McCarty F, Yeager KA, Henry TR, Koganti A, Reisinger E, & Wexler B. (2009). Evaluation of WebEase: an epilepsy self-management web site. Health Education Research, 24(2),185-197.
View PubMed Abstract

DiIorio C, Escoffery C, Yeager KA, McCarty F, Henry TR, Koganti A, Reisinger E, Robinson E, Kobau R, & Price P.  (2009). WebEase: development of a web-based epilepsy self-management intervention. Preventing Chronic Disease, 6(1), A28.
View PubMed Abstract

DiIorio C, Bamps Y, Edwards AL, Escoffery C, Thompson NJ, Begley CE, Shegog R, Clark NM, Selwa L, Stoll S, Fraser RT, Ciechanowski P, Johnson EK, Kobau R, Price PH.(2010). The Prevention Research Centers' Managing Epilepsy Well Network. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print].
View PubMed Abstract

DiIorio C, Bamps Y, Escoffery C, Reisinger-Walker E (2011). Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial: Evaluating WebEase, an Online Epilepsy Self-Management Program. Epilepsy & Behavior, 22(3): 469-474.
View PubMed Abstract

Escoffery C, DiIorio C, Yeager KA, McCarty F, Robinson E, Reisinger E, Henry T, Koganti A. (2008). Use of computers and the Internet for health information by patients with epilepsy.  Epilepsy & Behavior, 12(1), 109-114.
View PubMed Abstract

Reisinger EL, Welxer B, DiIorio C, Escoffery C, McCarty F & Yeager KA.(2009). Content and  characteristics of goals created during a self-management intervention for people with epilepsy.  Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 41(6), 312-321.

Reisinger Walker E, Bamps Y, Burdett A, DiIorio C, Rothkopf J. (in press). Social support for self-management behaviors among people with epilepsy: A content analysis of the WebEase program. Epilepsy & Behavior.[Epub ahead of Print 2012 February 23].

Shegog R, Bamps Y, Escoffery C, Ilozumba O, Johnson EK, Kakacek J, Patel A..(2013). Managing Epilepsy Well: Emerging eTools for Epilepsy Self-management. Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 29: 133–140.WebEase: Epilepsy Awareness, Education and Support



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