BACKGROUND: Epilepsy is a long-term condition that requires self-management, but currently, there is no well-evaluated epilepsy self-education or self-management intervention in the United Kingdom (UK).
AIM: The aim of this study was to examine the views and experiences of the first participants of the Self-Management in epILEpsy UK (SMILE UK) program to assist the development of a full trial.
METHOD: In-depth semistructured interviews and group discussions were conducted with 10 people with poorly controlled epilepsy to explore their views and experiences of the self-management program. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed thematically.
RESULTS: All participants viewed the program positively. Three themes emerged: i) peer support was experienced through knowledge sharing, disclosure of experiences, and exchange of contact details; ii) participants felt better equipped to enter discussions with doctors and other health-care professionals about their condition; and iii) participants reported an improvement in their personal life through increased confidence to live with epilepsy and acceptance of their diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: A brief group self-management intervention increased knowledge and confidence in managing epilepsy.