Mood, anxiety, and perceived quality of life in adults with epilepsy and intellectual disability

F.M. Snoeijen-Schouwenaars*, J.S. van Ool, I.Y. Tan, A.P. Aldenkamp, H.J. Schelhaas, J.G.M. Hendriksen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective Depression and anxiety symptoms are common among patients with epilepsy, but are relatively under-researched in patients with both epilepsy and intellectual disability (ID). The aim was to investigate whether epilepsy and ID characteristics are associated with mood, anxiety, and quality of life. Materials and Methods Adult patients with epilepsy and ID who rely on tertiary epilepsy care were included (N = 189). Mood, anxiety, and quality of life were assessed by standardized questionnaires. Epilepsy and ID characteristics were retrieved from patient charts or determined by psychometric instruments. Results Elevated levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms were present in 21.7% and 12.7%, respectively. Anxiety was significantly associated with a focal epilepsy type and ID domain discrepancy (substantial difference between two domains of adaptive behavior), but was negatively related to seizure frequency and drug load of mood-stabilizing antiepileptic drugs. Depressive symptoms were not significantly related to epilepsy characteristics, but a severe ID and ID domain discrepancy was associated with more depressive symptoms. Quality of life was significantly worse in those with multiple seizure types and ID domain discrepancy. Conclusion Whereas anxiety and quality of life are associated with individual epilepsy characteristics, this could not be confirmed for depressive symptoms in patients with epilepsy and ID, despite its high prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • anxiety disorder
  • depression
  • developmental disability
  • mental health
  • paper
  • people
  • reliability
  • seizures
  • validity

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