Purpose: To describe health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adolescents and young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy and to compare it with a random sample of the general population.
Methods: Young people, aged 13-22 years, meeting the criteria and registered in four Swedish hospitals answered questionnaires (n = 158/193) on HRQOL together with 282 (n = 282/390) random controls living in the same areas in Sweden. The instruments used were "I think I am," "Youth Self Report," "Sense of coherence," and "Family APGAR." Data were analyzed by using factorial analysis of variance.
Results: Girls had a poorer HRQOL than boys. The epilepsy group reported lower competence (i.e., they were less active, had lower social competence and poorer school achievement). Both groups had an overall positive self-esteem. Differences between girls in the epilepsy and control groups were small, whereas differences among boys were more evident. Older age was related to poorer HRQOL in both groups.
Conclusions: This study points out the importance of being observant of signs of stigmatization in adolescents with epilepsy.