Multivariate trajectories across multiple domains of health-related quality of life in children with new-onset epilepsy
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The diagnosis of epilepsy in children is known to impact the trajectory of their health-related quality of life (HRQOL) over time. However, there is limited knowledge about variations in longitudinal trajectories across multiple domains of HRQOL. This study aims to characterize the heterogeneity in HRQOL trajectories across multiple HRQOL domains and to evaluate predictors of differences among the identified trajectory groups in children with new-onset epilepsy. Data were obtained from the Health Related Quality of Life in Children with Epilepsy Study (HERQULES), a prospective multi-center study of 373 children newly diagnosed with new-onset epilepsy who were followed up over 2years. Child HRQOL and family factors were reported by parents, and clinical characteristics were reported by neurologists. Group-based multi-trajectory modeling was adopted to characterize longitudinal trajectories of HRQOL as measured by the individual domains of cognitive, emotional, physical, and social functioning in the 55-item Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy Questionnaire (QOLCE-55). Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess potential factors that explain differences among the identified latent trajectory groups. Three distinct HRQOL trajectory subgroups were identified in children with new-onset epilepsy based on HRQOL scores: "High" (44.7%), "Intermediate" (37.0%), and "Low" (18.3%). While most trajectory groups exhibited increasing scores over time on physical and social domains, both flat and declining trajectories were noted on emotional and cognitive domains. Less severe epilepsy, an absence of cognitive and behavioral problems, lower parental depression scores, better family functioning, and fewer family demands were associated with a "Higher" or "Intermediate" HRQOL trajectory. The course of HRQOL over time in children with new-onset epilepsy appears to follow one of three different trajectories. Addressing the clinical and psychosocial determinants identified for each pattern can help clinicians provide more targeted care to these children and their families.