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August 3, 2009

Depression and symptoms affect quality of life in psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

August 4, 2009 issue
73 (5) 366-371


Background: In patients with active epilepsy, adverse medication effects and severity of depression are correlated with health-related quality of life, but seizure frequency is not. We sought to examine if the same pattern exists in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES).
Methods: We administered seizure calendars, quality of life (QOL) scales, depression scales, and symptom checklists to 49 patients with video EEG–confirmed PNES. Data analysis consisted of performing Pearson correlation coefficients, scatter plots, and t tests.
Results: Depression and symptom scores significantly increased as health-related QOL scores decreased (partial correlation coefficient r = −0.73 for both comparisons), whereas seizure count was nonsignificant (partial correlation coefficient r = −0.19).
Conclusions: As is seen in epilepsy, patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures demonstrate that higher depressive symptoms and somatic symptoms are independently related to worsening quality of life (QOL); however, seizure frequency is not. Seizure frequency is an important focus in patient care and treatment trials. The findings underscore the importance of, along with seizure counts, also examining QOL, depression, and somatic symptoms in patients with seizures.

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Published In

Volume 73Number 5August 4, 2009
Pages: 366-371
PubMed: 19652140

Publication History

Published online: August 3, 2009
Published in print: August 4, 2009


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Affiliations & Disclosures

W. Curt LaFrance, Jr, MD, MPH
From the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry (W.C.L.), Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence; and Brown University (S.S.), Providence, RI.
Stephanie Syc, ScB
From the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry (W.C.L.), Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence; and Brown University (S.S.), Providence, RI.


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. W. Curt LaFrance, Jr., Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy Street, Potter 3, Providence, RI 02903 [email protected]

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