Maternal reactions to a child with epilepsy: Depression, anxiety, parental attitudes and family functions

Epilepsy Res. 2011 Aug;95(3):213-20. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2011.03.020. Epub 2011 May 2.


Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate how the disease and treatment of epilepsy affected the psychological profile (depression and anxiety) of mothers whose children had epilepsy, as well as these mothers' attitudes towards their children and their family relationships.

Methods: Both the case and control groups consisted of 50 children and their mothers. All mothers were asked to complete the Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Parental Attitude Research Instrument and Family Assessment Device.

Results: Mothers whose children had epilepsy scored significantly higher in depression and state anxiety compared to the mothers of the control group. The mothers of children diagnosed with epilepsy also failed to develop supportive and friendly relationships with their children. In addition, these mothers scored significantly higher in the Attitude of Hostility and Rejection, Marital Discordance and Authoritarian Attitude as compared to the mothers of the control group.

Conclusion: This cross-sectional study demonstrated that, for the mothers of children who had epilepsy, the illness might have an adverse effect on their lives and their family relationships.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Statistics, Nonparametric