Seizure freedom improves health‐related quality of life after epilepsy surgery in children Academic Article uri icon

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  • AIM: To determine whether epilepsy surgery improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and whether seizure freedom after surgery mediated the improvement in HRQoL. METHOD: This multicenter cohort study compared HRQoL after epilepsy surgery to pharmacological management in children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). HRQoL was measured using the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) questionnaire at baseline and 1-year follow-up. The mediator between treatment type and HRQoL was seizure freedom. RESULTS: Two hundred and thirty-seven patients were recruited (surgery group: n=147 [92 males, 45 females]; pharmacological group: n=90 [53 males, 37 females]). Mean age at seizure onset was 6 years (SD 4y 4mo) in the surgical group and 6 years 1 month (SD 4y) in the pharmacological group. The odds ratio of seizure freedom was higher for the surgery versus pharmacological group (β=4.24 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 2.26-7.93], p<0.001). Surgery had no direct effect on total QOLCE score at 1-year (β=0.24 [95% CI -2.04 to 2.51], p=0.839) compared to pharmacological management, but had an indirect effect on total QOLCE that was mediated by seizure freedom (β=0.92 [95% CI 0.19-1.65], p=0.013), adjusting for baseline total QOLCE score. Surgery had a direct effect on improving social function (p=0.043), and an indirect effect on improving physical function (p=0.016), cognition (p=0.042), social function (p=0.012) and behavior (p=0.032), mediated by seizure freedom. INTERPRETATION: Greater seizure freedom achieved through epilepsy surgery mediated the improvement in HRQoL compared to pharmacological management in children with DRE. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Seizure freedom is higher after pediatric epilepsy surgery compared to pharmacologically managed epilepsy. Surgery indirectly improves health-related quality of life (HRQoL) mediated by seizure freedom compared to pharmacological management. Surgery has a direct effect on improving social function relative to pharmacological management. Baseline HRQoL was an important predictor of HRQoL after treatment.


  • Jain, Puneet
  • Smith, Mary Lou
  • Speechley, Kathy
  • Ferro, Mark
  • Connolly, Mary
  • Ramachandrannair, Rajesh
  • Almubarak, Salah
  • Andrade, Andrea
  • Widjaja, Elysa

publication date

  • May 2020