Introduction This analysis explored relationships between memory/cognitive issues, quality of life (QoL), and employment among 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 adverse events from antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), comorbidities, epilepsy severity and management, QoL (using QOLIE-10-P total score)1 and demographics. Descriptive statistics were stratified by employment status: employed; not looking for work (NLW); looking for work (LW); or unable to work (UW), and differences in means or distributions were analysed using chi-squared, Mann-Whitney U or Kruskal-Wallis H tests. Regression models were constructed to explore associations between memory/cognition-related variables and QOLIE-10-P within each employment group.
Results 950 eligible responses reporting current AED use were included (71% via MedAdvisor, 29% via Facebook; 55% seizure-free for >1 year). Mean QOLIE-10-P score was significantly different across employment groups (p<0.001): 49.61 in employed PwE (n=493), 48.87 in NLW (n=227), 32.75 in LW (n=52), and 25.97 in UW (n=178). After controlling for possible confounders, presence of memory problems from AEDs was associated with a -7.50 decrease in QOLIE-10-P only among employed PwE (p=0.002). The extent that PwE felt bothered by memory difficulties, however, was significantly associated with QOLIE-10-P in all employment groups; generally, as level of concern about memory difficulties increased, estimated QOLIE-10-P decreased.
Conclusions Self-reported memory problems are prevalent among PwE in Australia and may impact QoL differentially depending on employment status. 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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