Mums’ depression adversely affects quality of life in kids with epilepsy

January 6th, 2011 - 1:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 6 (ANI): A new study has found that maternal depression adversely affects quality of life in children with epilepsy.

Canadian researchers examined the prevalence of maternal depression and its impact on children newly diagnosed with epilepsy.

They found that prevalence of depression in mothers ranged from 30pc-38pc within the first 24 months following a child’s epilepsy diagnosis.

The mother’s depressive symptoms negatively impacted the child’s health-related quality of life, but the effects were moderated by the amount of family resources and mediated by how well the family functions and the extent of family demands.

Prior studies have shown that families of a child with epilepsy experience significantly more stress, anxiety, and restrictions in family life. Mothers, in particular, are at greatest risk for psychological distress or depression in response to their child’s epilepsy, as they are often the primary caregivers for their children.

To determine the prevalence of maternal depression, researchers surveyed 339 mothers whose children were part of the Health-related Quality of Life of Children with Epilepsy Study (HERQULES).

The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale was used to assess the maternal risk of clinical depression; at baseline, 38pc of mothers were at risk, 30pc at 6 months, 32pc at 12 months, and 30pc at 24 months.

In further analysis of the same 339 mother-child pairs from the HERQULES cohort, the researchers assessed the mothers’ depressive symptoms, the children’s health-related quality of life and severity of epilepsy.

Results showed that children of mothers with elevated levels of depressive symptoms have poorer health-related quality of life than children of mothers with low levels of depression.

The study appeared online in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy. (ANI)

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