Send to

Choose Destination
Epilepsia. 2016 Apr;57(4):574-81. doi: 10.1111/epi.13327. Epub 2016 Feb 9.

Where are they now? Psychosocial, educational, and vocational outcomes after epilepsy surgery in childhood.

Author information

Department of Psychology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Neurosciences and Mental Health Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To evaluate the social, educational, and vocational outcomes of young adults who underwent resective epilepsy surgery in childhood (4-11 years earlier), and in a comparison group of nonsurgical patients with intractable epilepsy.


Participants were 78 patients (mean age 22.37, standard deviation [SD] 2.47 years) with childhood onset intractable epilepsy, of whom 51 underwent surgery. At follow-up, participants were at least 18 years of age. Patients' current education, employment, income, and various social factors, including living arrangements, relationship status, and involvement with friends and community organizations were recorded. In addition, parents of patients completed the Adult Behaviour Checklist (ABCL). Employment status, education, and income were compared with provincial census data.


There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of surgical and nonsurgical patients who were seizure-free in the 12 months preceding the study: 53% and 33%, respectively (p = 0.10). Among all patients, 60% were enrolled in, or had completed, postsecondary education and 82% were employed or a student; similar to the general population. However, compared with population data, fewer patients with epilepsy (20%) had an annual income of $10,000 or greater (p < 0.001). Compared to normative data, a greater proportion of patients scored in the abnormal range in some ABCL scales (p < 0.028). Patients with IQs > 85 had significantly better educational, vocational, and psychosocial outcomes compared to patients with IQs ≤ 85. Surgical and nonsurgical patients did not differ on any outcome variable. Compared to patients with seizures, more seizure-free patients were living independently (p = 0.03), and had a driver's licence (p < 0.001). Other outcomes were similar among patients with and without seizures.


Overall, patients with intractable epilepsy in childhood attained educational and vocational outcomes similar to that of the general population, but earned a significantly lower income. Seizure freedom, attained through surgery or medication management, was associated with better outcomes in limited psychosocial measures.


Behavior; Income; Long term; Pediatric; Social; Surgery satisfaction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center