Evaluation of the Anxiety Level of Mothers of Children with Epilepsy during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period

Eur Neurol. 2021 Apr 14;1-8. doi: 10.1159/000514826. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background and aim: Although anyone can be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it may cause additional concern for people with chronic conditions. Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in childhood and adolescence. The aim of this study was to determine anxiety levels among the mothers of children under follow-up for epilepsy in our clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: The study group consisted of the mothers of epilepsy patients who were under follow-up in the pediatric neurology outpatient clinic of the tertiary care center and were scheduled for a routine examination during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mothers' anxiety levels according to the Beck Anxiety Inventory and their opinions about COVID-19 in relation to their child were assessed and compared based on whether the mother/patient attended their appointments in person and whether the child had frequent or infrequent seizures.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in anxiety level between the mothers of 64 children with epilepsy who attended their appointment during the pandemic and those of the mothers of 52 who did not attend their appointment. However, the mothers of children with frequent seizures had significantly higher anxiety levels.

Conclusion: Anxiety level of mothers whose children have frequent seizures was significantly higher compared to mothers whose children have infrequent seizures. It is important to be aware about this point and using telemedicine approach in suitable population and postpone routine outpatient follow-up appointments as much as possible.

Keywords: Childhood epilepsy; Coronavirus disease 2019; Maternal anxiety; Pandemic.