Caregiver burden in epilepsy: determinants and impact

Epilepsy Res Treat. 2014;2014:808421. doi: 10.1155/2014/808421. Epub 2014 Apr 8.


Aim. Caregiver burden (CB) in epilepsy constitutes an understudied area. Here we attempt to identify the magnitude of this burden, the factors associated with it, and its impact to caregiver quality of life (QOL). Methods. 48 persons with epilepsy (PWE) underwent video-EEG monitoring and their caregivers completed questionnaires providing demographic, disease-related, psychiatric, cognitive, sleep, QOL, and burden information. Results. On regression analysis, higher number of antiepileptic drugs, poorer patient neuropsychological performance, lower patient QOL score, and lower caregiver education level were associated with higher CB. Time allocated to patient care approximated but did not attain statistical significance. A moderate inverse correlation between CB and caregiver QOL physical component summary score and a stronger inverse correlation between CB and caregiver QOL mental component summary score were seen. Conclusion. In a selected cohort of PWE undergoing video-EEG monitoring, we identified modest degree of CB, comparable to that reported in the literature for other chronic neurological conditions. It is associated with specific patient and caregiver characteristics and has a negative effect on caregiver QOL.