Given the high burden of epilepsy on both health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and costs, identification of factors that are predictive of either reduced HRQoL or increased expenditure is central to the better future targeting and optimization of existing and emerging interventions and management strategies for epilepsy.Methods:
Searches of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library (up to July 2010) to identify studies examining the association between demographic, psychosocial, and condition-related factors and HRQoL, resource utilization or costs in adults with epilepsy. For each study, predictor factor associations were summarized on the basis of statistical significance and direction; the results were then combined across studies.Key Findings:
Ninety-three HRQoL and 16 resource utilization/cost studies were included. Increases in seizure frequency, seizure severity, level of depression, and level of anxiety and presence of comorbidity were strongly associated with reduced HRQoL. The majority of studies were cross-sectional in design and had an overall methodologic quality that was judged to be “moderate” for HRQoL studies and “poor” for health care resource or costs studies. In the 53 multivariate studies, age, gender, marital status, type of seizure, age at diagnosis, and duration of epilepsy did not appear to be associated with HRQoL, whereas the predictive influence of educational and employment status, number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and AED side effects was unclear. The association between predictive factors and HRQoL appeared to be consistent across individuals whether refractory or seizures controlled or managed by AEDs. There were insufficient multivariate studies (five) to reliably comment on the predictors of resource utilization or cost in epilepsy.Significance:
In addition to seizure control, effective epilepsy management requires the early detection of those most at risk of psychological dysfunction and comorbidity, and the targeting of appropriate interventions. There is need for more rigorous studies with appropriate multivariate statistical methods that prospectively investigate the predictors of HRQoL, resource utilization, and costs in epilepsy.