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Dissertation

The impact of seizure severity, treatment experiences, associated psychopathology, and demographic variables on families of children with epilepsy

1 January 2016

Abstract

A tremendous amount of research has examined the strain that epilepsy places on an individual’s quality of life. Several factors including seizure severity and frequency, treatment experiences, and demographic factors such as age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES) have all been shown to have predictive power in determining an individual’s health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of epilepsy on family functioning. Similar to the literature on individual HRQOL, demographic variables (i.e., age, sex, SES), seizure frequency, and treatment experiences (i.e., including medication, surgical intervention, VNS implantation) were all examined to determine their relationship with and relative contribution to negative family functioning and adverse impact using the Impact on Family Scale (Stein & Jessop, 1985). Additionally, mental health characteristics including internalizing and attention problems were also examined. Significant positive correlations were found between Impact on Family scores and number of medications throughout treatment (r = .35), Vagal Nerve Stimulator implantation (r = .34), and Internalizing Problems (r = .34).


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