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Seizure Freedom Reduces Illness Intrusiveness and Improves Quality of Life in Epilepsy

  • Sonia Poochikian-Sarkissian (a1) (a2), Souraya Sidani (a2), Richard Wennberg (a1) and Gerald M. Devins (a3)



Chronic illnesses are associated with multiple stressors that compromise quality of life (QOL). Implicit in many of these stressors is the concept of illness intrusiveness: the disruption of lifestyles, activities, and interests due to the constraints imposed by chronic disease and its treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine illness intrusiveness and QOL in epilepsy in patients with different levels of seizure control.


Cross-sectional data were obtained and compared between two groups of patients categorized by presence of seizures: seizure freedom or continued seizures (N=145). Standard instruments measured the following variables: illness intrusiveness, perceived personal control, subjective well-being, and disease specific QOL.


Illness intrusiveness varied inversely and significantly with seizure control. Complete seizure freedom, whether achieved by pharmacological or surgical treatment, was associated with the lowest levels of illness intrusiveness. Seizure freedom was also associated with increased perceived control, positive affect, self-esteem and QOL in epilepsy.


The most robust benefits of decreased illness intrusiveness in epilepsy occur when treatment leads to complete seizure control. Therefore every effort should be made by health care providers to achieve seizure freedom to reduce illness intrusiveness and improve QOL in epilepsy.

<span class='bold'>RÉSUMÉ:</span> <span class='bold'> <span class='italic'>Contexte:</span> </span>

: Les maladies chroniques sont associées à de multiples facteurs de stress qui compromettent la qualité de vie (QV). Le concept d’effet de perturbation de la maladie est implicite dans plusieurs de ces facteurs de stress : la perturbation du mode de vie, des activités et des intérèts à cause des contraintes imposées par une maladie chronique et son traitement. Le but de cette étude était d’examiner l’effet de perturbation de la maladie et la QV dans l’épilepsie chez des patients présentant différents niveaux de controle des crises.

<span class='bold'> <span class='italic'>Méthodes:</span> </span>

Nous avons recueilli des données transversales et nous avons séparé les patients en deux groupes, selon la présence ou l’absence de crises (N = 145). Les variables suivantes ont été mesurées au moyen d’instruments standards : l’effet de perturbation du à la maladie, le controle personnel per9u par le patient, son bien-ètre et sa QV spécifique de la maladie.

<span class='bold'> <span class='italic'>Résultats:</span> </span>

L’effet de perturbation de la maladie variait inversement et significativement selon le controle des crises. La disparition des crises, soit par un traitement pharmacologique ou chirurgical, était associée aux niveaux les plus bas d’effet de perturbation du à la maladie. La disparition des crises était également associée à une augmentation du controle per9u, l’affect positif, l’estime de soi et la QV dans l’épilepsie.

<span class='bold'> <span class='italic'>Conclusions:</span> </span>

: Les bénéfices les plus robustes de la diminution de l’effet de perturbation du à la maladie dans l’épilepsie se retrouvent quand le traitement assure le controle complet des crises. Les professionnels de la santé devraient donc viser à faire disparaìtre les crises afin de diminuer l’effet de perturbation du à la maladie et d’améliorer la QV dans l’épilepsie.

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