Pediatric Psychology and Epilepsy: A State of the Field and Call to Action

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Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions affecting children and adolescence. Youth with epilepsy (YWE) are at greater risk for emotional, behavioral, and academic concern when compared with both healthy controls and youth with other chronic medical conditions. In addition, rates of nonadherence to antiepileptic medications are quite high, leading to less than optimal seizure control and negative impact on quality of life. Despite well documented need for behavioral health intervention, epilepsy has been underserved by pediatric psychologists in both clinical and research endeavors. This commentary posits that pediatric psychologists are uniquely qualified to join epilepsy treatment teams and contribute to scholarly activities related to YWE. Current research and clinical activities of pediatric psychologists within the epilepsy population are explored. We conclude with a call for increased training opportunities within the epilepsy population so that pediatric psychologists can impact the management of behavioral health needs with in this population.