The quality of life of people with epilepsy at a tertiary referral centre in Malaysia

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BACKGROUND: Epilepsy, a chronic disorder of brain characterised by a predisposition to generate epileptic seizures, has an effect on the psychosocial well-being of sufferers. Measuring the quality of life (QOL) of people with epilepsy (PWE) is increasingly recognized as an important component of clinical management. QOL measures differ between countries and there is limited information regarding PWE in Malaysia. The aim of this study was to determine the health related QOL and its relationship with the presence of seizures in PWE at a Malaysian tertiary referral center. METHODS: A total of 106 adults with epilepsy attending the weekly neurology clinic of Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital were interviewed in this cross-sectional study. The QOL was measured using a validated Malay translated version of the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Scale-31 (QOLIE-31). Analysis of covariance was used for data analysis. RESULTS: The mean age was 31.8 years old (standard deviation (SD) 11.0) and 56.6% were females. The mean total score of QOLIE-31was 68.9 (SD 15.9). The highest subscale score was the medication effects with a mean of 79.4 (SD 28.5) and the lowest was seizure worry with 47.5 (SD 25.0). Respondents who had one or more seizures in the past four weeks had significantly lower mean score of QOL [63.4, 95% CI: 59.2, 67.5] than those who had no seizure [mean score 73.5, 95% CI: 69.3, 77.9] after adjusting for age, sex, treatment, duration and age at onset of epilepsy [F test =11.215, p = 0.001, R2 = 0.159]. All the sub-scales of QOL showed significant moderate correlation with the frequency of seizures except for cognitive functioning. CONCLUSIONS: Worrying about seizure had the major contribution on QOL, while medication effect had the least. This study confirms the importance of seizure control for a better QOL in Malaysian patients with epilepsy.




Norsa’adah, B., Zainab, J., & Knight, A. (2013). The quality of life of people with epilepsy at a tertiary referral centre in Malaysia. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 11(1).

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