Department of Neurology
Pediatric Epilepsy and Behavioral Medicine Lab
The Pediatric Epilepsy and Behavioral Medicine Lab at MUSC is run by Drs. Gigi Smith, a pediatric nurse practitioner, and Janelle Wagner, a pediatric psychologist. The lab focuses on the integration of medical and behavioral aspects of pediatric epilepsy by incorporating family epilepsy management, thus targeting comprehensive care of youth with epilepsy and their caregivers.
As Principal Investigators, Drs. Wagner & Smith have been funded by the national Epilepsy Foundation (EF), Parents Against Childhood Epilepsy (PACE), and the Pediatric Partnership for Epilepsy Research. Their projects have encompassed predictors of depressive symptoms and examination of coping skills and self-efficacy for seizure management in youth with epilepsy; development of a depression screening tool specific to pediatric epilepsy (NDDI-E-Y); development and pilot-testing of a cognitive-behavioral self-management intervention targeting the enhancement of primary and secondary coping skills in youth with epilepsy and their caregivers (Coping with Epilepsy: COPE); and examination of caregiving processes in parents of youth with epilepsy. In 2007, they received William R. Turk Research Award in Pediatric Epilepsy. Drs. Wagner & Smith have current proposals submitted to validate the NDDI-E-Y and conduct a randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of COPE. They are also working on a self-report questionnaire to measure epilepsy management behaviors in youth with epilepsy and their caregivers.
Drs. Wagner & Smith have also participated as Co-Investigators on two previously funded epidemiological studies of epilepsy health related outcomes and comorbidities funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are current Co-I’s on a project examining comorbidities in persons with epilepsy in SC, also funded by the CDC (A. Selassie, PI).
Drs. Wagner & Smith collaborate with other researchers across the US who focus on behavioral aspects of pediatric epilepsy, including investigators at Emory University, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, and the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium. They are involved in the presentation of findings at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) annual meeting and publication of findings in respected peer reviewed journals (see selected publications below). Drs. Wagner & Smith provide expertise to the national Epilepsy Foundation, National Center for Project Access, American Epilepsy Society, and SC Advocates for Epilepsy (SAFE). And finally, they provide mentorship to nursing and psychology graduate students.
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
- Wagner JL, Smith G, Ferguson PL, & Fedele D. (in press). Preliminary Psychometrics of the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy-Youth (NDDI-E-Y). Journal of Child Neurology.
- Guilfoyle S, Wagner JL, Smith G, & Modi, A. (2012). Early screening and identification of psychological co-morbidities in children with epilepsy is necessary. Epilepsy & Behavior, 25, 495-500.
- Wagner JL, Ferguson P, & Smith G. (2012). The relationship of coping behaviors to depressive symptoms in youth with epilepsy: An examination of caregiver and youth proxy report. Epilepsy & Behavior, 24, 86-92.
- Wagner JL, Smith G, & Ferguson P. (2012). Self-efficacy for seizure management and depressive symptoms in youth with epilepsy: caregiver and youth perspectives. Seizure: The European Journal of Epilepsy, 21, 334-339.
- Smith G & Wagner JL. (2012). Commentary on “Care delivery and self-management strategies for children with epilepsy.” Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal, 7, 241-243.
- Wagner JL, Smith G, Ferguson P, van Bakergem K & Hrisko S. (2011). Feasibility, accuracy, and satisfaction of an integrated cognitive-behavioral and self-management intervention for youth with epilepsy and caregivers: Coping Openly and Personally with Epilepsy (COPE). Seizure: The European Journal of Epilepsy, 20, 462-467.
- Wagner JL, Smith G, Ferguson P, van Bakergem, K & Hrisko S. (2010). Pilot study of an integrated cognitive-behavioral and self-management intervention for youth with epilepsy and caregivers: Coping Openly and Personally with Epilepsy (COPE). Epilepsy & Behavior, 18, 3, 280-285.
- Smith G, Ferguson PL, Saunders, L, Wagner JL, Wannamaker B, & Selassie A. (2009). Psychosocial factors associated with stigma in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 16, 3, 484-490.
- Wagner JL, Smith G, Ferguson P & Wannamaker B (2009). Caregiver perceptions of seizure severity in pediatric epilepsy. Epilepsia, 50, 9, 2102-2109.
- Wagner JL, Smith G., Ferguson P, Horton S., & Wilson E (2009). A learned hopelessness model of depressive symptoms in youth with epilepsy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34, 89-96.
- Wagner JL, Smith G (2006). Psychosocial interventions in pediatric epilepsy: A review of the literature. Epilepsy & Behavior, 8, 1, 39-49.