The impact of epilepsy from the patient's perspective I. Descriptions and subjective perceptions EPILEPSY RESEARCH Fisher, R. S., Vickrey, B. G., Gibson, P., Hermann, B., Penovich, P., Scherer, A., Walker, S. 2000; 41 (1): 39-51


This study surveyed the perceptions about and subjective experience of 1023 people with epilepsy in two community-based samples: one from a national postal survey; the other callers to the Epilepsy Foundation. Response to a mail survey was 49%. In comparison with US Census Bureau norms, respondents had received less education, were less likely to be employed or married, and came from lower income households. Complex partial seizures were the most prevalent seizure type, but a convulsion had occurred in 61%. Fifty percent of respondents reported incomplete control of their seizure disorder, although 25% of these had a seizure in the prior year. Thirteen percent had a longest inter-seizure interval of a year or greater, 37% of 3 months, 22% of 1 month, 10% of 1 week and 4% of 1 day. Respondents listed uncertainty and fear of having a seizure as the worst thing about having epilepsy. Lifestyle, school, driving, and employment limits were also listed as major problems. When asked to rank a list of potential problems, cognitive impairment was ranked highest. These data indicate that ongoing medical and psychosocial problems continue for those with epilepsy in the view of those questioned and their families, even in a sample where the majority report good control of their epilepsy.

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View details for PubMedID 10924867