October 16, 2018

Factors Contributing to Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Adults with New-Onset Epilepsy

To investigate factors contributing to anxiety and depressive symptoms over a 1-year period in Korean adults with new-onset epilepsy.

This longitudinal multicenter study included adults diagnosed with epilepsy within 12?months of a first seizure. Using stepwise regression analyses, we determined whether Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) scores could be predicted by demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables at baseline and at 12?months.

Of 141 patients included at baseline, 63 (44.7%) and 60 (42.6%) had Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale-Anxiety (HADS-A) and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale-Depression (HADS-D) scores >7, respectively. Of 98 patients who completed the 12-month study, the corresponding figures decreased to 32.7% and 36.7%, respectively. Higher HADS-A scores both at baseline and 12?months were predicted by higher neuroticism, stigma, and lower self-esteem (p?<?0.05). Higher HADS-D scores at baseline were predicted by higher neuroticism, lower self-esteem, marital status, and lower extroversion (p?<?0.05) whereas those at 12?months were predicted by self-esteem, seizure recurrence, and age at epilepsy onset (p?<?0.05). Neuroticism or self-esteem was the strongest predictor of psychological distress.

Anxiety and depressive symptoms are common at the time of diagnosis in Korean adults with new-onset epilepsy. While these decrease over time, they remained high 12?months after epilepsy diagnosis. Psychological factors, particularly neuroticism and self-esteem, may be the most important risk factors. Epilepsy variables, such as seizure recurrence and age at onset, may also be important factors for depressed mood at 12?months.

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