CHildren and Young people Managing Epilepsy at home: The CHYME study

Mary Burrows cuts a celebratory CHYME cake, watched by epilepsy nurse specialist Sheila Lewis and colleagues from The Walton Centre and Bangor University; and patients and relatives.Mary Burrows cuts a celebratory CHYME cake, watched by epilepsy nurse specialist Sheila Lewis and colleagues from The Walton Centre and Bangor University; and patients and relatives.A research project aimed at improving self-management for children and young people with epilepsy was launched by Mary Burrows, Chief Executive, BCUHB recently (Friday 20th January 2012).

The CHYME- CHildren and Young people Managing Epilepsy research project aims to improve how children and young people with epilepsy are able to live with and manage their epilepsy and treatment at home. This will involve getting to the heart of what the children and young people themselves see as the challenges they face and how healthcare professionals can teach them or provide them with the means to resolve these problems for themselves. The project will develop the evidence-base for using behavioural interventions in routine clinical practice.

Sheila Lewis, Epilepsy Nurse Specialist at the Walton Centre, was awarded an Academic Health Science Collaboration (AHSC) fellowship 2010/11 to conduct the CHYME research project. She was the only nurse to receive this award in north Wales, and one of two nurses among 25 Welsh healthcare professionals who received this prestigious award. Over 80 applicants applied for the Award which provides access to clinical research time.

Mary Burrows, Chief Executive of Betsy Cadwaladr University Health Board said “The Health Board is proud to be part of the CHYME project.  We are always keen to develop ways to help people manage their own conditions at home.  I would like to congratulate Sheila on receiving the Award and look forward to the research contributing to modernising the way we deliver care in this area.”

Rhodri, who has epilepsy, said: "Without the help and intervention of both the epilepsy nurse and consultant, my life would not be as positive as it is today."

His mother, Sandra said "My son's health has improved greatly since our involvement with the epilepsy medical team. Their support has been invaluable for my son and to us as a
family."

The background to this research project is that children and young people (age 6-18 years) with epilepsy are at risk for poor health outcomes, which includes reduced quality of life and psychosocial problems. Better self-management of their epilepsy supports improved quality of life and mental health outcomes. Therefore, support to enhance self-management of epilepsy is a priority.

The launch will bringing together key people from BCUHB, the Walton Centre for Neurology, education, universities, and local epilepsy and children’s charities who will be either participating or supporting the research.

This research project will be supervised by Professors Jane Noyes and Professor Richard Hastings at Bangor University.   Prof Hastings said: ‘CHYME is an excellent example of collaboration between health organisations, NHS professionals, and Bangor University to develop research for the benefit of patients; in this case children and young people with epilepsy and their families’.

Publication date: 19 January 2012