Failed transition to independence in young adults with epilepsy: The role of loneliness

R. P. J. Geerlings*, L. M. C. Gottmer-Welschen, J. E. M. Machielse, A. J. A. de Louw, A. P. Aldenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Many young adults with epilepsy are still living with their parents (Tailed transition to independence') despite reaching the adult age. This study evaluated patient-related variables and measures of loneliness correlated to 'failed transition to independence' in adults, 25-30 years of age, with (childhood-onset) epilepsy.

Methods: Patients with (childhood-onset) epilepsy and 25-30 years of age were recruited from Epilepsy Center Kempenhaeghe. Inclusion criteria were: diagnosis of (childhood-onset) epilepsy, and an (estimated) IQ > 70. Patients were sent one questionnaire and informed consent was obtained from all participants. Questions included the patient's level of functioning and satisfaction on three transitional domains (medical status, educational/vocational status, independence/separation from their parents), satisfaction with their friendships, and the validated De Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale. 'Transition to independence' was defined and categorized in a continuum with scores ranging from 0 (Tailed transition') to 4 for all patients. A Bivariate Correlation analysis was used to compute correlations between patient characteristics and failed transition to independence.

Results: 59 patients were included in the analysis, of which 19 (32.2%) had a failed transition to independence. A statistically significant correlation was found between transition to independence and the social loneliness scale (p = 0.047) and the total loneliness scale (p = 0.04), and for the patients self-reported satisfaction with their independence/separation from parents (p = 0.01) and friendships (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Adults with epilepsy with a failed transition to independence experience loneliness and are not satisfied with their current developmental and social situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Epilepsy
  • Failed transition
  • Loneliness
  • Psychosocial
  • Transition
  • CARE


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