Psychosocial Well-Being of Carers of People with Epilepsy in Hong Kong

Epilepsy Behav. 2002 Apr;3(2):147-157. doi: 10.1006/ebeh.2002.0321.


The purpose of this study was to explore the factors associated with the quality of life and emotional states of the caregivers of people with epilepsy in Hong Kong. Sixty-five primary caregivers were administered rating scales of mood, quality of life, and intensity of various epileptic and psychosocial variables. Twenty-two percent of respondents were considered to have severe levels of anxiety, and 14%, severe levels of depression. Three-quarters of the caregivers interviewed had below-average scores on the quality-of-life measure, indicating that the carers' psychosocial adjustment was impaired. Contrary to the findings of previous studies, caregivers of patients with additional illnesses or learning disabilities were not more distressed than caregivers of patients with epilepsy only. Demographic characteristics and other medical and social factors associated with the psychosocial well-being of the carers of people with epilepsy were discussed. The findings of this study suggest the importance of including systematic measures of people's subjective experiences and perceptions in the study of social and psychological aspects of epilepsy.