Psychosocial effects and evaluation of the health-related quality of life in patients suffering from well-controlled epilepsy

J Neurol. 2004 Mar;251(3):310-3. doi: 10.1007/s00415-004-0313-7.


Purpose: To record the impact of epilepsy on the psychological health and HRQOL of patients suffering from mild epilepsy in a rural area of southeastern Greece.

Patients and methods: We studied fifty outpatients suffering from well-controlled uncomplicated epilepsy who experienced from none up to four seizures per year and had the ability to sustain a regular job. We tried to record the psychosocial effects resulting from epilepsy and to evaluate their HRQOL, comparing them to 50 healthy controls with similar demographic characteristics. To patients and controls were given the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and a questionnaire based on the Hamilton and Mandr's depression scales.

Results: According to the two depression and anxiety scales used, a mild degree of anxiety and depression was diagnosed but with unimportant statistical difference (p=ns) between patients and healthy controls. Self-perceived HRQOL of patients appeared to be affected,with vitality (p<0.002), physical (p<0.001) and social functioning (p<0.003) as the most impaired subscales of the SF-36. The deterioration in their HRQOL was mainly related to the post-diagnosis alteration of their socioeconomic status. As assessed by the multiple regression analyses, none of the disease history and medication-related variables were found to have any influence on the results of the SF-36 subtests.

Conclusion: Despite the fact that we studied a relatively small sample of patients with mild epilepsy, our results showed that their HRQOL was obviously affected, while their psychological health remained nearly unaffected.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis