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Epilepsia. 2000 Jun;41(6):760-4.

Relationships between seizure severity and health-related quality of life in refractory localization-related epilepsy.

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  • 1University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA. The Multicenter Epilepsy Surgery Study.



To evaluate relationships between self-report measures of seizure severity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in people with refractory localization-related epilepsy.


A sample of 340 adults enrolled in a seven-center, prospective study of resective epilepsy surgery completed baseline questionnaires that included the Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE)-89 and a seven-item adaptation of the National Hospital Seizure Severity Scale. Associations between QOLIE-89 summary measures and both the total seizure severity scale score and individual seizure severity items were assessed, after adjustment for seizure frequency.


The seizure severity measure had adequate scale score variability and reliability in this sample. Correlations between individual items in the scale did not exceed 0. 43. Product-moment partial correlations between the seizure severity scale and QOLIE-89 summary measures ranged from -0.17 to -0.29 (all p values <0.01). Of the seven seizure severity items, the average time before individuals perceived they were "really back to normal" after their seizures was broadly related to all domains of HRQOL (r values ranged from -0.16 to -0.30; p values <0.01). Severity of injury during seizures was the only other item having more than minimal associations with HRQOL, and it was selectively related to the physical health measure. Higher frequency of falls during seizures was modestly related to less employment.


This seizure severity measure assesses constructs that are generally distinct from HRQOL, except for moderate and broad associations between HRQOL and patient's perceptions of the average duration of recovery time after seizures. Recovery time may potentially be a useful clinical indicator of seizure severity that reflects meaningful impairment of HRQOL in adults with frequent seizures.

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