Aim: The aim of this study was to examine whether socioeconomic deprivation in children with epilepsy (CWE) increases risk for behavioral problems independent of seizure factors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was done in which parents of children attending a specialist epilepsy clinic were invited to complete a child behavior checklist (CBCL) questionnaire about their child. Medical and sociodemographic data on CWE were obtained through their pediatric neurologists. Home postal code was used to obtain quintiles of Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012 (SIMD2012) scores for individuals. Lower (1-3) quintiles correspond to higher socioeconomic deprivation. Regression analysis was used to investigate whether a lower quintile was an independent risk factor for scores >63 (significant behavioral problem).
Results: Parents of 87 children (42 male, mean age of 10.5years) were enrolled. Fifty-nine percent had total scores >63. A higher proportion of children from quintiles 1-3 compared to those from quintiles 4-5 had externalizing (49% vs. 25%, p=0.02) and total (54% vs. 30%, p=0.02) scores >63. Adjusted OR of quintiles 1-3 vs. 4-5 for scores >63=14.8, 95% CI=3.0, 68.0. Fewer children with scores >63 and from quintiles 1-3 were known to the child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) compared to those in quintiles 4-5 (p=0.01).
Interpretation: Socioeconomic deprivation was an independent risk factor for behavioral problems in CWE. Children with epilepsy and behavioral problems who lived in socioeconomically deprived areas received less help.
Keywords: Behavior; Deprivation; Epilepsy.
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