Epilepsy, a complex spectrum of disorders, affects about 2.9 million people in the U.S. Similar to other chronic disorders, people with epilepsy face challenges related to management of the disorder, its treatment, co-occurring depression, disability, social disadvantages, and stigma. Two national conferences on public health and epilepsy (1997, 2003) and a 2012 IOM report on the public health dimensions of epilepsy highlighted important knowledge gaps and emphasized the need for evidence-based, scalable epilepsy self-management programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention translated recommendations on self-management research and dissemination into an applied research program through the Prevention Research Centers Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network. MEW Network objectives are to advance epilepsy self-management research by developing effective interventions that can be broadly disseminated for use in people's homes, healthcare providers’ offices, or in community settings. The aim of this report is to provide an update on the MEW Network research pipeline, which spans efficacy, effectiveness, and dissemination. Many of the interventions use e-health strategies to eliminate barriers to care (e.g., lack of transportation, functional limitations, and stigma). Strengths of this mature research network are the culture of collaboration, community-based partnerships, e-health methods, and its portfolio of prevention activities, which range from efficacy studies engaging hard-to-reach groups, to initiatives focused on provider training and knowledge translation. The MEW Network works with organizations across the country to expand its capacity, help leverage funding and other resources, and enhance the development, dissemination, and sustainability of MEW Network programs and tools. Guided by national initiatives targeting chronic disease or epilepsy burden since 2007, the MEW Network has been responsible for more than 43 scientific journal articles, two study reports, seven book chapters, and 62 presentations and posters. To date, two programs have been adopted and disseminated by the national Epilepsy Foundation, state Epilepsy Foundation affiliates, and other stakeholders. Recent expansion of the MEW Network membership will help to extend future reach and public health impact.
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© 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine