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Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Jul;13(1):144-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.03.012. Epub 2008 May 5.

Depression, anxiety, and quality of life in siblings of children with intractable epilepsy.

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University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


Thirty-seven siblings (aged 6-18) of children with intractable epilepsy were surveyed regarding their anxiety, depression, and quality of life, by both self-report (Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, RCMAS; Children's Depression Inventory, CDI; and Peds QL) and parental report (Child Behavior Checklist, CBCL). Completed forms were returned by 37 of 58 (64%) eligible families. No sibling had a score in the clinical range on the CDI, and only 2 of 37 (6%) scored in the clinical range on the RCMAS, a proportion similar to the normative population. In contrast, 25% were rated by their parents to have elevated Internalizing Behaviors scores on the CBCL. There was a trend for PedsQL scores to be lower than the normative mean. Comorbid behavior and attention problems in the child with epilepsy and sibling CDI and RCMAS scores correlated significantly with self-reported quality of life. However, other epilepsy, child, and family variables (income, parental education, family function, maternal depression) did not correlate. We conclude that siblings of children with intractable epilepsy are functioning well overall and have a good quality of life.

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