A comparison of health-related quality of life in patients with epilepsy, diabetes and multiple sclerosis

Epilepsy Res. 1996 Oct;25(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/0920-1211(96)00024-1.


The purpose of this investigation was to compare self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in epilepsy compared to another neurological condition or a non-neurological chronic illness. Patients with epilepsy (N = 271), multiple sclerosis (N = 85) and diabetes (N = 555) completed a generic measure of HRQOL (RAND 36-Item Health Survey 1.0 (SF-36)), and the eight SF-36 scale scores were compared across groups, adjusting for differences in sociodemographic characteristics and co-morbid medical conditions. Patients with multiple sclerosis reported significantly worse HRQOL compared to both the epilepsy and diabetes groups (who did not differ from one another) on the Physical Functioning, Role Limitations-Physical, Energy, and Social Function scales. Patients with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis did not differ from one another but reported significantly lower HRQOL scores than the diabetes group on the Emotional Well-Being and Role Limitations-Emotional scales. However, the epilepsy group reported better health perceptions compared to the diabetes and multiple sclerosis patients. Generic measures of HRQOL appear useful in identifying some effects of neurological disease, but disease-targeted supplements may be required to more clearly identify the impact of epilepsy on quality of life.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Quality of Life*