Mental health

Role of EEG in management of convulsive epilepsy

Question 5: What is the added advantage of doing an Electroencephalography (EEG) in people with convulsive epilepsy in non-specialist settings in low and middle income countries?

Management of epilepsy

  • Population: children and adults with epilepsy from population-based and clinic-based settings
  • Interventions: EEG
  • Comparison: not applicable
  • Outcomes:
    • appropriate diagnosis
    • management (seizure recurrence, mortality, adverse effects)
    • sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of EEG for the diagnosis of epilepsy
    • risk of seizure recurrence after the first unprovoked seizure.


EEG should not be used routinely for diagnosis of epilepsy in non-specialized health care in low and middle income countries. If there is clinical evidence for the diagnosis of convulsive epilepsy, treatment should be started without EEG. EEG may be a useful tool to support diagnosis and classify epileptic syndromes particularly in young, but should be done in specialized facilities under optimum technical conditions and with adequate expertise for interpretation of the data and results.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile