December 22, 2021

Association Between Antiseizure Medications and Quality of Life in Epilepsy: A Mediation Analysis

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsia

Objective: The relationship between antiseizure medications (ASMs), which improve health outcomes by controlling seizures, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is poorly understood and may involve intermediate variables. We evaluated the potential mediators of the association between ASMs and HRQOL.

Methods: Data are from an outpatient registry of adult patients with epilepsy seen at the Foothills Medical Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Quality of life was measured using the 10-item Quality of Life in Epilepsy, and depression was measured using the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy. Propensity score matching was used to adjust for covariate imbalance between patients who received a single ASM (monotherapy) and those who received two or more ASMs (polytherapy) due to confounding. Mediation analysis was used to estimate the mediating effects of depression and ASM side effects on the association between patients’ ASM polytherapy and HRQOL.

Results: Of 778 patients included in this analysis, 274 (35.2%) were on two or more ASMs. Patient-reported depression and ASM side effects jointly mediated the association between ASMs and HRQOL; these mediators accounted for 42% of the total average effect of ASM polytherapy (?? = ?13.6, 95% confidence interval = ?18.2 to ?8.6) on HRQOL.

Significance: These findings highlight the importance of managing depression and ASM side effects for improving health outcomes of patients requiring treatment with ASMs. Intervention programs aimed at improving health-related quality of life of patients with epilepsy need to target these potential mediators.

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