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Epilepsia. 1997 Feb;38(2):233-6.

Patient-validated content of epilepsy-specific quality-of-life measurement.

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UAB Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294, USA.



To study the effects of epilepsy from the patients' perspective and assist determination of content validity of health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) measures.


We asked 81 consecutive patients with moderately severe epilepsy to list in order of importance their concerns of living with recurrent seizures. To minimize investigator bias, patients completed the procedure in a private setting without staff involvement.


Twenty-four distinct domains were generated by the patients. Concerns about driving (64%), independence (54%), employment (51%), social embarrassment (36%), medication dependence (33%), mood/stress (32%), and safety (31%) each were listed by > 30% of patients. Driving was listed as the most important concern by 28% of patients, followed by employment (21%), independence (9%), safety (6%), antiepileptic-drug side effects (5%), seizure unpredictability (5%), and seizure aversion (5%).


The effect of epilepsy on HRQOL is not vague or obscure from the patients' perspective but is defined by a limited number of domains. Independence is an important concern that may not be evaluated adequately by currently available HRQOL instruments.

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