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.