Social interaction groups – a TCM based approach for epilepsy.

Fernandes P.T. – M.D., Li S. M. - M.D., Li H. L. – M.D., Li L. M. – M.D.
Brazil

Introduction:

Social interaction group (SIG) aims to promote the individual resiliency and social skills. The SIG has been developed by a non-governmental organization (ASPE) primarily for assistance of patients with epilepsy and their families. The underlying concept of SIG is based upon the integrative view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, emphasizing environment, social, psychological and physical-biological domains to create an alternative model to improve quality of life of people with epilepsy.

Aim:

To assess the acceptance and feelings towards SIG by professionals allied to medicine or social workers.

Methods:

SIG has six sessions of one hour and a half each, the participants were free to speak and share their feelings and emotions and, they exercised Xian Kong collectively. Twenty-one professionals (19 women, mean age of 34 years-old) allied to medicine or social workers from public service of Pedreira, a small town in São Paulo state, southern of Brazil. The outcome assessment was based on self report structure validated questionnaires prior and one week after the intervention. Observations were also taken based upon the group interaction and attitude along the sessions.

Results:

We could observe an improvement in all evaluated aspects: social skills, resiliency, self-stem and epilepsy stigma perception even in a group of people that do not have “overt problems”.

Conclusions:

The results are promising. We would expect that SIG may improve the aspects related to social interaction in patients with epilepsy or other chronic conditions in particular those with important stigma burden. A side observation, the TCM brought new possibilities of application; Xian Kong and Reflexology taught in SIG have been reported by the participants to use in their work environment, school, and health center.


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