We fight to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Some behaviours may predict risk of mental health problems in children with epilepsy, study says

25 Nov 2016

Certain behaviours in children and teenagers with epilepsy may predict a higher risk of mental health issues, according to a new study in Epilepsia.

The study authors, Jones and her colleagues, interviewed 326 children with epilepsy, aged between 5 and 18 years old, and their parents. The children were divided into a younger group (under 12 years old) and an older group. The parents of the children completed a child behaviour checklist (CBCL).

For both age groups, the study compared children with epilepsy who had more than one mental health issue and children with epilepsy who had none.

The results showed 7 behaviours in the younger group which predicted a higher risk of more than one mental health problem in children with epilepsy. These were: clingy, cruelty or bullying, perfectionist, nervous, poor school work, inattentive and sulks.

For the older group, the study authors found three behaviours that predicted a higher risk – disobedient at school, loner and lying or cheating.

The researchers also compared children with epilepsy who had one mental health problem and children with epilepsy who had none. They found that behaviours didn’t predict a single mental health problem very accurately.

The study found that these behaviours could suggest a higher risk of mental health problems in children with epilepsy. Doctors should recognise this and refer children who are at greater risk to a specialist.


You may also be interested in...

Discussing option of epilepsy surgery with parents earlier could help with decision-making process

Involving parents in discussions about the option of surgery to treat their child’s drug-resistant epilepsy could help to improve access and uptake of surgery, according to a new study.

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment...

Question about your epilepsy?

Your question will be sent to our helpline advisors.

Have a comment about this page?

All comments are reviewed by a moderator before publishing. Comments will be edited or deleted if they are offensive, libellous, slanderous, abusive, commercial or irrelevant.

We ask for your email when you make a comment through this website. This means that we can let you know directly that we have replied to you. By making a comment through the website, you allow us to use the comment in our publicity without using your name. If we would like to use your name, we will email you to get your permission.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
7 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.