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Regular Article| Volume 8, ISSUE 4, P228-234, June 1999

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Self-assessment of well-being in a group of children with epilepsy

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      Abstract

      Epilepsy is common in childhood, the prevalence being about five per 1000 children. The purpose of this study was to assess well-being in children with controlled epilepsy (but did not include those with obvious neurodeficits such as mental retardation or cerebral palsy) and compare them with age-matched healthy children. The patient group comprised of 31 children, 12 boys and 19 girls, whereas the control population group consisted of 342 children, 176 boys and 166 girls who were all in good health. All children involved in the study were aged between 9–13 years. A questionnaire was distributed to the children to complete. It consisted of 39 bipolar adjectives and a visual analogue scale was employed. The results show that the group of children with controlled epilepsy did not differ significantly from the age-matched control group. There was no significant difference between the sexes except for the dimension of vitality, where the boys scored better than the girls. Thus the well-being of children with controlled epilepsy seems to be similar to that of children from a control population. The psychometric properties of the instrument were also assessed. An assessment of well-being in children with intractable epilepsy, using a similar approach, is in progress.

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