Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 April 2020
To determine the prevalence of depression and quality of life in patients with epilepsy, and its associated risk factors.
This was a cross sectional study where 120 patients with epilepsy and 60 controls who were the patients’ sibling, were recruited. Socio-demographic data (age, sex, race, marital status, education level and employment status) and clinical variables (age at onset, duration and type of seizure, seizure recency, type of antiepileptic drug used, family history of epilepsy and depression) were recorded. Both patients and the control subjects were given the “Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale” and “Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview” to screen and diagnose for depression respectively. The Quality of Life Inventory of Epilepsy (QOLIE-31) was used to assess quality of life.
The prevalence of depression in patients with epilepsy was higher than in controls (9.2% as compared to 3.3%), though it was not statistically significant. There were also no significant differences between the depressed and non depressed patients in terms of socio-demographic and clinical variables. However, patients with younger onset of epilepsy were more likely to report depressive symptoms on HADS (p = 0.02). Patients with epilepsy who were depressed also had poorer quality life as compared to those without depression: p< 0.001.
Patients with epilepsy had higher rates of depression as compared to controls. Furthermore they had significantly poorer quality of life as compared to those without depression. Therefore, epileptic patients should be regularly screened for depression to prevent unnecessary suffering and poorer quality of life.