Quality of life, psychiatric symptoms, and stigma perception in three groups of persons with epilepsy

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Objective: The current study aimed to describe quality of life (QoL) levels, psychiatric symptoms prevalence, and perceived stigma levels in persons with either drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) or drug-sensitive epilepsy (DSE) and in persons with epilepsy (PwE) with DRE that underwent epilepsy surgery (DREES). Methods: Persons with epilepsy diagnosed as having DRE according to International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) criteria, DSE, and DREES were enrolled at the Epilepsy Unit of the Neurological Institute Carlo Besta of Milan. Sociodemographic and clinical data, Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory (QOLIE-31), Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), and the Epilepsy Stigma Scale (ESS) were collected based on self-reported information and on medical records. Results: Sociodemographic, medical, and psychological data were obtained from 181 PwE: 80 with DRE, 31 with DSE, and 70 with DREES. We found that QoL is higher and psychiatric symptoms are lower in persons with DSE compared with DRE and that patients with DREES, who were drug-resistant before surgery, are in between DSE and DRE for both measures. Perceived stigma level is different in DSE and in DRE, that report the highest levels of stigma, and is between the other two groups in DREES. Significance: This study suggests that low QoL levels and high psychiatric symptoms prevalence in drug-resistant PwE may be significantly improved after epilepsy surgery and suggests the importance of a biopsychosocial approach when planning therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107170
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Epilepsy
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Quality of life
  • Stigma perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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