Variation in the reporting of outcomes among pregnant women with epilepsy: a systematic review

Bassel H. Al Wattar, Anna Placzek, Joy Troko, Alexander M. Pirie, Khalid S. Khan, Dougall Mccorry, Javier Zamora, Shakila Thangaratinam

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Studies on pregnant women with epilepsy should evaluate both neurological and pregnancy outcomes. We undertook a systematic review of the literature of studies on pregnant women with epilepsy to collate the outcomes reported, and the quality of outcomes report in these studies.

We searched major electronic databases (from 1999 until January 2015). Two independent reviewers selected studies and extracted data on study design, the risk of bias of the studies, journal impact factor and the quality of reported outcomes. We assessed the quality outcomes report using a six items standardised tool (score range 0–6).

There were 70 different outcomes reported in 232 studies (maternal neurological (13/70, 19%), fetal and neonatal (28/70, 40%), and obstetric outcomes (29/70, 41%)). Most studies reported on major congenital fetal abnormalities (103/232, 44%), followed by live birth (60/232, 26%). Quality of the reported outcomes was poor (mean 1.54, SD 1.36). It was associated with journal impact factor (p = 0.007), but not with study design (p = 0.60), or risk of bias (p = 0.17).

The outcomes reported in studies on pregnant women with epilepsy varied widely, and the quality of the outcomes report was poor. There is a need to identify a set of core outcome to harmonise reporting in future clinical studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Early online date30 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Epilepsy
  • Pregnancy
  • Maternal
  • Fetal
  • Neurological
  • Outcomes


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