September 15, 2020

Risk Factors for Depression in Patients With Epilepsy

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Background: Depression is common and associated with reduced quality of life (QoL) in people with epilepsy (PWE). Although multiple studies have investigated the relevant predictors, the results have been inconsistent. This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the risk factors that might increase the possibility of depression in this population.

Results: Four databases (Medline, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Embase) were comprehensively searched for cross-sectional studies on the occurrence of depression in PWE. Fifty-one cross-sectional studies with sample sizes ranging from 36 to 1,763 were included in this meta-analysis. The significant factors associated with an increased risk of depression were older age, female gender, low education level, unemployment, poor antiepileptic drug (AED) adherence, polytherapy, stigma, and anxiety. A shorter epilepsy duration was significantly associated with a lower risk of depression, whereas marital status, economic level, age at seizure onset, and seizure control did not increase the risk of depression.

Conclusion: This meta-analysis defined several factors related to an increased risk of depression in PWE and can contribute to better prevention and screening strategies for depression in this group. The mechanisms behind this comorbidity remain to be further investigated to determine individually appropriate and targeted interventions.