Do depressive symptoms affect mothers' reports of child outcomes in children with new-onset epilepsy?

Qual Life Res. 2010 Sep;19(7):955-64. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9660-2. Epub 2010 May 7.


Purpose: To test whether elevated levels of depressive symptoms affect reports of child outcomes in a sample of mothers of children with new-onset epilepsy.

Methods: A sample of 339 mothers from the Health-related Quality of Life in Children with Epilepsy Study was used in the analysis. Mothers' depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). To examine whether maternal mental health status moderated mothers' reports of each core domain of health-related quality of life (functional status, psychological functioning, social functioning, and disease state/symptoms), a series of multiple regression analyses was conducted. Interactions, depicted as product terms between CES-D scores and neurologist-reported measures, were used to determine the presence of depression distortion.

Results: Interactions in the regression models were not significant with one exception in the functional status domain of mothers' assessments of their child's energy/fatigue and its impact on daily activities [beta = 0.24 (0.06, 0.41)]. Mothers with high levels of depressive symptoms were shown to have reported higher scores for their child's energy/fatigue and its impact on daily activities.

Conclusions: Results from this study do not suggest that the mental health status of mothers affects reporting on the domains of health-related quality of life for their children with new-onset epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life