Introduction This study explored the impact of specific types of comorbidities and adverse events (AEs) from antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on quality of life (QoL) among adult patients with epilepsy (PwE) in Australia.
Methods Cross-sectional surveys were completed by PwE, or caregiver proxies, recruited via the online pharmacy application MedAdvisor and Australian PwE Facebook groups from May–August 2018 Data were collected on demographics, epilepsy severity and management, AEs, comorbidities, and QoL (using QOLIE-10-P total score).1 Multiple linear regression models were constructed to explore associations between AEs or comorbidities and QOLIE-10-P, with possible confounders determined using stepwise selection.
Results 978 responses were included (mean age 44.5 years, 64% female, 52% employed). 97% reported recent AED use, 47% on AED monotherapy, 35% exposed to ≤2 lifetime AEDs, and 55% seizure-free for >1 year. After stepwise selection, control variables included in both models were: time since diagnosis, employment status, seizure frequency, number of currently prescribed AEDs, and number of general practitioner visits per year. In the model for comorbidities, ‘psychiatric disorders’ was associated with the largest QOLIE-10-P decrease (-23.30, p<0.001). In the model for AEs, which additionally controlled for depression and anxiety disorder, ‘memory problems’ was associated with the largest decrease in QOLIE-10-P (-14.27, p<0.001).
Conclusions In this survey of Australian PwE, of which many had relatively well-controlled epilepsy, psychiatric and memory problems were common and associated with the greatest detrimental impact on QoL. Further research is needed to understand causality, relationships between possibly interrelated or overlapping symptoms, and management strategies. UCB Pharma-sponsored.
Cramer JA, Perrine K, Devinsky O, Meador K. A brief questionnaire to screen for quality of life in epilepsy: The QOLIE-10. Epilepsia 1996;37:577–582.
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