Relationship experiences following epilepsy surgery

Study title

Relationship Experiences Following Epilepsy Surgery

What’s it about?

There is little research looking at the psychological outcomes after epilepsy surgery, with very little research exploring romantic relationship experiences after surgery. However, it is recognised that post-epilepsy surgery patients, their partners and their families can experience difficulties adjusting to a life without epilepsy, and this can impact relationships.

This study aims to explore romantic relationship experiences of those who have gone through epilepsy surgery.

It hopes to understand any relationship changes, improvements, or difficulties and how these experiences have been made sense of. It is hoped this study will add to the body of research around what may be helpful to aid people in maintaining healthy relationships after surgery.’

If research can build an understanding on experiences of romantic relationships after epilepsy surgery, epilepsy surgery services can be designed with this in mind, particularly with regard to post-surgery support.

When the priorities have been agreed, epilepsy charities will be able to make the case for more research funding for epilepsy and how care can be improved for people affected by the condition.

Am I eligible to take part?

You can take part in the research if you:

  • had temporal lobectomy epilepsy surgery between two and five years ago and are seizure free following surgery 
  • were married or living with a partner before and at the time of surgery 
  • are over 18 and UK based

For this study, this means that you can understand the information provided, and can use this information to make an informed decision whether or not you wish to take part.

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to take part in this research if any of the following applies to you: severe Learning Disability, Dementia of any type, non-English speaker or the development of paranoia or other severe psychiatric illnesses post-surgery.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to take part in the study, please contact Zoe Poysden.

What will taking part involve?

If you decide to take part, we will:

  • Arrange a time that is convenient to you to speak over video using Microsoft Teams or phone. An instruction sheet will be sent to show you how to access the video call. There will be a more detailed discussion about the study and any questions can be answered.
  • If you would like to proceed, another call will be set up where the researcher will ask questions about your experience of relationships after epilepsy surgery. The conversation will take between 30-90 minutes.

How do I get involved?

Contact Zoe Poysden (main researcher) on 07929 784478 or email 

Is there a deadline?

The study will run until the 30 September 2022

Who is conducting the research?

Zoe Poysden, Clinical Psychologist in Training at the University of Edinburgh, MSc (Hons), PGCert, BSc (Hons). 

Who has reviewed this study?

Dr David Gillespie, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist; Dr Charlene Plunkett, Senior Teaching Fellow; Dr Angus Macbeth, Research Director.