Seizure 2019 Jul 29;69:92-98. Epub 2019 Mar 29.
Epilepsy Center Hessen and Department of Neurology, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg (Lahn), Germany; Epilepsy Center Frankfurt Rhine-Main and Department of Neurology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; LOEWE Center for Personalized Translational Epilepsy Research (CePTER), Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:
Purpose: To identify factors correlating with poorer quality of life (QoL) in children and adolescents with epilepsy and regarding QoL and depression of their caregivers in Germany.
Method: A cross-sectional multicenter study on QoL and depression was performed in two representative German states (Hessen and Schleswig-Holstein). Variance analysis, linear regression, and bivariate correlation were used to identify correlating factors for poorer QoL and symptoms of depression.
Results: Data from 489 children and adolescents (mean age 10.4 ± 4.2 years, range 0.5-17.8; 54.0% male) and their caregivers were collected. We identified missing seizure freedom (p = 0.046), concomitant diseases (p = 0.007), hospitalization (p = 0.049), recent status epilepticus (p = 0.035), living in a nursing home or with foster parents (p = 0.049), and relevant degree of disability (p = 0.007) to correlate with poorer QoL in children and adolescents with epilepsy. Poorer QoL of caregivers was associated with longer disease duration (p = 0.004), non-idiopathic (mainly structural-metabolic) epilepsy (p = 0.003), ongoing seizures (p = 0.003), concomitant diseases (p = 0.003), relevant disability (p = 0.003), or status epilepticus (p = 0.003) as well as with unemployment of the primary caretaker (p = 0.010). Symptoms of depression of caregivers were associated with non-idiopathic epilepsy (p = 0.003), concomitant diseases (p = 0.003), missing seizure freedom (p = 0.007), status epilepticus (p = 0.004), or a relevant disability (p = 0.004) of their ward. A poorer QoL value of the children and adolescents correlated with a poorer QoL value of the caregivers (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Epilepsy shows a considerable impact on QoL and symptoms of depression. Early and effective therapy should focus on reduction of seizure frequency and the probability for developing status epilepticus. Furthermore, comprehensive care should pay attention at comorbidities, consequences of disability and dependency on others.