Neuropsychiatric symptoms, seizure severity, employment, and quality of life of Jordanians with epilepsy.

Hamada Hamid
A S Kasasbeh
M J Suleiman
X Cong
H Liu
Sohaib A. Mohiuddin MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Y G Bahou


RATIONALE: Depression and anxiety are more strongly associated with quality of life (QOL) than seizure frequency in several populations with epilepsy. However, QOL is culturally determined and may be influenced by cultural values and norms as well as local policies and resources. The goal of this study is to investigate the impact of neuropsychiatric symptoms and seizure severity on QOL and employment in people with epilepsy living in Jordan.

METHODS: Seizure severity and complications, antiepileptic drug side effects, social stigma, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and mental health (MH-SF36) and physical health (PH-SF36) domains of QOL were assessed in 45 adult patients with epilepsy in a university neurology clinic. Multivariate regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between these variables and the quality of life of Jordanians with epilepsy.

RESULTS: Neuropsychiatric symptoms, seizure frequency, and history of injury due to seizure were associated with the MH-SF36. However, earlier age of seizure onset, longer duration of epilepsy, unemployment, and history of chronic disease was associated with lower PH-SF36 scores. Furthermore, there were no differences in QOL, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and seizure frequency in Jordanians who were employed versus unemployed in this study.

CONCLUSIONS: Neuropsychiatric symptoms were significantly associated with mental health-related QOL measures, but not with physically-related QOL measures, in Jordanians with epilepsy. For studies across populations, it is critical to separate mental health from physical health QOL measures. Furthermore, regional differences in culture and policy may more strongly influence employment status than individuals' experiences of epilepsy, neuropsychiatric symptoms, or QOL in some populations.