OBJECTIVE: An improvement in quality of life (QoL) over time after epilepsy surgery has been demonstrated in people with epilepsy; however, social functioning has been less investigated. This research team conducted this study to examine whether postsurgical improvement is parallel between QoL and social functioning in patients with epilepsy.
METHODS: The team retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent epilepsy surgery. All participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory (QOLIE-89) questionnaire, and the Social and Occupational Functioning Scale for Epilepsy (SOFSE) before surgery and at 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery. Demographic and epilepsy-related information was also collected. Generalized estimating equations with identity links were used to model the QOLIE-89 and SOFSE over time and possible associated factors. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: A total of 76 patients, including 36 males and 43 females aged 18 to 62 years were collected. Both total QOLIE-89 and overall SOFSE improved over time after epilepsy surgery (adjusted p value < 0.001 and 0.002, respectively, with Bonferroni’s correction). Total QOLIE-89 improved 3 months after surgery, while overall SOFSE showed no significant improvement until 6 months after surgery. The presurgical Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III and years of education were significantly associated with time-dependent improvement for both total QOLIE-89 and overall SOFSE (p value < 0.001). At one year after surgery, overall SOFSE and total QOLIE-89 scores were significantly higher in the seizure-free group than in the nonseizure-free group (p value = 0.040 and 0.032, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Social functioning significantly improved in people with epilepsy after surgery as quality of life, but it took more time to exhibit improvement. People with better Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient and more years of education had better improvement in social functioning over time. The early intervention of rehabilitation programs after epilepsy surgery might be necessary to facilitate the improvement in social functioning.