Partnering for Prevention: Protecting Bone Health in Persons with Epilepsy
Cheryl Shore, PhD, ANP-BC; Wendy Stoelting-Gettelfinger, PhD, JD, FNP-C; Nicole Paddock, MSN, RN, AGNP-C

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to propose nursing strategies for the maintenance of bone health in persons with epilepsy due to current risk-associated pharmacotherapy. Because of potentially serious consequences following loss of bone mineral density (BMD), action cannot be delayed. Methods: An extensive literature search was conducted utilizing peer-reviewed research articles. Results yielded articles that pertain to research surrounding osteoporosis prevention in persons with epilepsy. Each article was evaluated based on its applicability to the purpose of this paper. Findings: Loss of BMD is recognized as a possible consequence of epilepsy and treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Length of time on AEDs and use of multiple, concurrent AEDs are recognized as risk factors contributing to loss of BMD. Furthermore, inadequate intake of specific nutrients, insufficient weight-bearing exercise, comorbid conditions, and personal characteristics can further increase risk. Implications/Conclusions: The associations between AED use and loss of BMD in persons with epilepsy, as well as the associations among demographics, lifestyle factors, and comorbid conditions to loss of BMD, provide nurses with fundamental strategies for prevention. Nurses are in a key position to assess their patients’ current level of risk and to assist them in becoming active partners in the maintenance of bone health.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijn.v2n2a7