Abstract, published in Epilepsy & Behavior
Objective: We aimed to investigate sex differences in factors associated with poor quality of life (QOL) in a cohort of patients with epilepsy (PWE) in Northeast China.
Methods: A consecutive cohort of 221 PWE from the First Hospital of Jilin University was recruited. The Chinese versions of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory (QOLIE-31) were used to measure depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and the QOL.
Results: A total of 221 adult PWE participated in this study. In the multivariate regression model, three independent factors were found to be significantly associated with the total QOLIE-31 score in men: epilepsy duration (p = 0.007), the PHQ-9 score (p < 0.001), and the BAI score (p < 0.001). As for the subscale domain of QOL, marital status showed a relationship with cognitive function (p = 0.047), and residence was related with medication effects (p = 0.034). Two independent factors were found to be significantly associated with the total QOLIE-31 score in women: the PHQ-9 score (p < 0.001) and the BAI score (p < 0.001). The education level of women was positively associated with three subdomain scores of QOL, including overall QOL (p < 0.001), emotional well-being (p = 0.028), and energy/fatigue (p = 0.025).
Conclusion: We found that high levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms are strong predictors of a poor quality of life in both men and women. Sex differences also occur in several demographic and clinical factors influencing the overall QOL or subscale domain scores such as epilepsy duration, marital status, and educational level. Timely diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric comorbidities might be crucial for improving the quality of life in both men and women.