Quality of Life in Epilepsy: The Role of Psychological Resilience
Introduction The quality of life of those with intractable epilepsy is significantly lower than that of the general population. Researchers have found that seizure frequency accounts for a statistically significant amount of the variance in levels of quality of life in those with epilepsy. However, not all studies have shown this effect. Psychosocial factors have recently received more attention and there is some evidence that they may provide a better account of the variance than seizure frequency. Psychological resilience, the ability to adapt to stressful events with good outcomes, is one area that has received little attention in the quality of life of adults with intractable epilepsy. Aims and Hypotheses The aim of the current study was to examine the role of resilience in quality of life in adults with intractable epilepsy. The first hypothesis predicted that the correlation between resilience and quality of life would be both significant and positive. Secondly, it was hypothesised that resilience would provide a better account of the observed variance in quality of life than seizure frequency. A further hypothesis predicted that resilience would show a significantly negative correlation with measures of anxiety and depression. 8 Methodology Postal questionnaires were presented to 223 patients with a diagnosis of epilepsy at their regular neurology review appointment. Exclusion criteria were; outwith the age range of 16-65, a diagnosis of intellectual impairment and seizure freedom for a period of 6 months. Measures of resilience, quality of life, seizure frequency anxiety and depression and several demographic variables were included. Of the 223 individuals invited to take part in study, 60 returned the completed questionnaires. Results and Discussion Correlations indicted that levels of resilience and quality of life showed a significant and large, positive correlation. Multiple regression analysis indicated that a significant proportion of the variance in quality of life was accounted for by resilience. Seizure frequency did not account for a significant amount of the variance. Measures of anxiety and depression were also significantly negatively correlated with resilience. The results are discussed in terms of their impact on future treatment options for those with intractable epilepsy.