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Study: What Affects Quality of Life in Patients with Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a chronic condition which affects quality of life (QOL). QOL is considered as an important outcome measure and component of management in studies of adult epilepsy.

Epilepsy is defined as various disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. These seizures can differ from short to long periods of strong shakings. Scientists haven’t identified the real cause of epilepsy, but it is mostly caused as a result of brain injury, stroke, brain tumor, and drug and alcohol abuse. To control epileptic seizures, doctors prescribe epilepsy drugs.

The quality of life is one of the evaluations performed in different medical areas including epilepsy. To treat an epileptic patient, it is so important to assess how the disease impacts the patient’s life.

Scientists have always investigated factors affecting epilepsy patient’s quality of life. In this context a recently published study has gone in this direction to understand these factors related to quality of life in a group of adult patients. Researchers studied sample of 560 patients of which 337 males and 223 females.

The study published in Research in Neurology: An International Journal showed that “factors associated with quality of life in adult epilepsy patients were psychiatric problems and AEDs.” Researchers stated previous studies stressing that “the most important determinants for patients with epilepsy were social and psychological aspects, effects of antiepileptic drugs and seizure frequency, which were determinants of poor QOL”.

Epilepsy patients’ psychology is directly affected by the disease. Researchers said that depression, anxiety and the use of multiple antiepileptic drugs are strong predictors of poor quality of life in epileptic patients.  As stated in the study, “effects of antiepileptic drugs and seizure frequency… (are) determinants of poor QOL”. Researchers also noticed that depression continue to “exist even after controlling seizure frequency, seizure severity, and other psychosocial variables.”

Researchers stated previous studies showing that “people with epilepsy have been reported to be more prone to depression than those without epilepsy”.

Researchers investigated if age, sex, education has effects on the patients’ quality of life. But they found that “age, sex and education did not correlate significantly with the quality of life”. Compared to other studies that found that employment and marriage are serious problems epilepsy patients face, researchers of the current study stated that “unlike these studies according to our study most of the patients were either studying or employed in some profession though most of females happen to be housewives.”

Researchers come to a conclusion that “psychiatric problems may be a potential challenge for people with epilepsy to cause poor QOL.” And they stressed out that “improving the patient’s quality of life (QOL) is one of the most important goals of epilepsy management and it may be necessary to individualize interventions such as counseling and psychotherapy techniques to improve the QOL in epilepsy patients.”

Researchers added that “the factor associated with QOL emphasizes the importance of effective treatment and alleviating anxiety and depression levelsArticle Submission, which may improve the quality of life.”

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