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National Epilepsy Awareness Month — November 2014

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures and affects an estimated 2.3 million adults and 450,000 children in the United States (1,2). Eighty-seven percent of parents of children with epilepsy have reported needing care coordination, and of these, 45% had unmet needs (3).

Community-based care coordination can improve outcomes and reduce health care costs for children with special health care needs (4). But more research regarding its effectiveness in epilepsy is required (2). The Health Resources and Services Administration funds community-based demonstration projects to improve access to coordinated care for children with epilepsy (2). These projects promote partnerships between health care providers and patients and their families, link care with other community resources, and address barriers to care (2,5).

CDC also supports community-based resources and services for children with epilepsy and their families. Additional information is available at


  1. Russ SA, Larson K, Halfon N. A national profile of childhood epilepsy and seizure disorder. Pediatrics 2012;129:256–64.
  2. Koh HK, Kobau R, Whittemore VH, et al. Toward an integrated public health approach for epilepsy in the 21st century. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;e146.
  3. Toomey SL, Chien AT, Elliot MN, Ratner J, Schuster MA. Disparities in unmet need for care coordination: the National Survey of Children's Health. Pediatrics 2013;131:217–24.
  4. Council on Children with Disabilities and Medical Home Implementation Project Advisory Committee. Patient- and family-centered care coordination: a framework for integrating care for children and youth across multiple systems. Pediatrics 2014;133:e1451–60.
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. The Coordinating Center on Epilepsy. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2014. Available at

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