publication

Counselling in tuberous sclerosis complex: A survey on content and satisfaction in the Netherlands

Hulshof, Hanna M., Brenner, Juliette, Overwater, Iris E., Wit, Marie Claire de, Braun, Kees P.J., Jansen, Floor E.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2020.01.004

European Journal of Paediatric Neurology

Abstract

Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a highly variable condition and its clinical features cannot reliably be predicted from the genotype. Counselling of parents of a child with TSC is challenging because of the variability of the condition and the changing outlook due to new treatment options. This study explored current counselling strategies in TSC in the Netherlands, with the aim of developing a recommendation for counselling. Method: We performed a nationwide survey using digital questionnaires. Questionnaires were sent to parents of children diagnosed with TSC, and to medical doctors involved in counselling, both no more than ten years prior to the study. Questions focused on general information about the child with TSC, medical doctors involved in counselling, type of information provided, mode of providing information, and recommendations for improvement of counselling. Results: Parents of 34 children diagnosed with TSC (7 prenatally) and 18 medical doctors from different departments responded to the questionnaires. Almost all parents were informed on the neurological and cardiac symptoms of TSC, other symptoms were mentioned less often. Satisfaction on counselling was higher when more information on the variability of TSC was provided, preferentially during a clinical visit, when emotional support was provided, and when parents were notified of the TSC patient society. Conclusions: Information on the variability in expression and quality of life is highly demanded by (expecting) parents of a child with TSC. Furthermore, reference should be made to institutions such as the support organisation for patients and social services for questions and support.