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of everyone affected by epilepsy

New study on quality of life of people with epilepsy

8 November, 2007

A study of how having epilepsy can affect someone's daily life has been published in the journal Epilepsia.

The data for the study came from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey,
the largest state health survey in the USA. The study found that almost
300,000 adults in the state (1.2 per cent of the total population) had
a self-reported history of epilepsy, while 182,000 (0.7 per cent) were
living with active epilepsy - either taking medication or experiencing
at least one seizure within the past three months.

Thirty-six
per cent of adults living with active epilepsy reported being
physically disabled or unable to work, compared to just five per cent
of adults without epilepsy. Adults with recent seizures reported
between nine and 12 days in the past month of impaired physical or
mental health, or days when their daily activities were limited,
compared to only two to four days for those without the condition.

People
with epilepsy were more likely to be unemployed, and to live in
lower-income households. Among adults with active epilepsy who had had
a seizure within the past three months, about one-quarter reported not
taking any medication for their disorder.

The authors
conclude that as with other chronic diseases, epilepsy takes a toll on
physical and mental health, including interfering with daily
activities. Because the findings show that people with epilepsy have
unmet physical and mental health needs, healthcare providers and policy
makers may propose interventions such as improved access to mental
health care, job training and self-management programs to improve
health outcomes in people with epilepsy.