Parent-Reported Anxiety in Children with Secondary Generalized Seizures




Benitez, Oscar J.

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This study examined the role of seizure type in determining different levels of parent-reported anxiety, when taking demographic, medically-related, and medication-related variables into account. One-hundred nineteen children with epilepsy aged 4 to 17 years old underwent a retrospective chart review. Demographic, medically-related, and medication-related variables, such as age, gender, ethnicity, handedness, median household income, age of onset, seizure etiology, lateralization, EEG findings, MRI findings, number of antiepileptic drugs prescribed, side-effect profile of medication, and therapy regimen, were reviewed as well as parent-reported anxiety and depression on the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2). Findings of the current study replicated previous research suggesting that children with epilepsy have higher average levels of depression and anxiety than the normative population. Children with epilepsy had similar levels of depression, regardless of seizure type. Children with partial seizures with secondary generalization had higher levels of anxiety symptoms compared to children with generalized seizures, but similar levels to those with partial seizures. The current study’s findings could have occurred due to the possible cueing components associated with having partial seizures with secondary generalization. The findings suggest a negative impact that behavioral symptoms of depression and anxiety may have on seizure-related care. The current study expanded upon previous research by using a parent-report measure in which both depression and anxiety scales were normed with the same sample of children. Furthermore, the current study focused on children with secondary generalized seizures as a unique subtype and addressed anxiety specifically, which has been less researched than depression.

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