Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in parents of young children with epilepsy: A case controlled population-based study

Reilly, C., Atkinson, P., Memon, A., Jones, C., Dabydeen, L., Das, K. B., Gillberg, C. , Neville, B. G.R. and Scott, R. C. (2018) Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in parents of young children with epilepsy: A case controlled population-based study. Epilepsy and Behavior, 80, pp. 177-183. (doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.12.020) (PMID:29414549)

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Abstract

The objective was to provide population-based data on depression, anxiety, and stress in parents of young children with epilepsy and to compare findings with those of parents of developmental-, age-, and gender-matched children with nonepilepsy-related neurodisability (neurological and/or neurodevelopmental concerns). The parents (mothers and fathers) of 47 (89% ascertainment) young children (1–7 years) with epilepsy in a defined geographical area of the UK completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales – Short Form (DASS-21), a screening measure for depression, anxiety, and stress. The responses of parents of children with epilepsy were compared with parents of developmental-, age-, and gender-matched children with nonepilepsy-related neurodisability (n = 48). Factors associated with parental symptoms were analyzed using regression. In the group with epilepsy, 47 mothers and 39 fathers completed the DASS-21. Seventy-two percent of mothers scored in the at-risk range on at least one DASS-21 subscale (Fathers 49%). Mothers of children with epilepsy were significantly more likely to score in the at risk range than fathers on depression (55% vs. 33%), anxiety (47% vs. 26%), and stress (55% vs. 31%) subscales (all p < 0.05). Mothers of children with epilepsy were also significantly more likely to score in the at-risk range than mothers of children with neurodisability on measures of depression (p = 0.005) and stress (p = 0.03). There was not a significant difference between fathers in both groups on any measures. In the group with epilepsy, increased child emotional–behavioral difficulties were associated with increased DASS-21 scores on multivariable analysis (p = 0.04). Mothers of young children with epilepsy are at high risk for mental health difficulties, and all should be screened for such difficulties. There is a need to explore what parent and/or child focused interventions might be useful to reduce the mental health difficulties reported by mothers of young children with epilepsy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The SEEN study was funded by the George E. Neville Foundation and Young Epilepsy.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Reilly, C., Atkinson, P., Memon, A., Jones, C., Dabydeen, L., Das, K. B., Gillberg, C., Neville, B. G.R., and Scott, R. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Epilepsy and Behavior
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1525-5050
ISSN (Online):1525-5069
Published Online:03 February 2018

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