Health-related quality of life, mood, and patient satisfaction after epilepsy surgery in Sweden—A prospective controlled observational study

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To evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQOL), mood, and patient satisfaction in epilepsy surgery candidates before and 2 years after epilepsy surgery or presurgical investigation.


In this prospective study of 141 patients, 96 underwent surgery and 45 did not. Questionnaires at baseline and at 2-year follow-up included the generic 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), and operated patients answered patient satisfaction questions. SF-36 scores were compared with scores from a matched sample from the Swedish norm population. Numbers were calculated of patients achieving a minimum important change (MIC) in the SF-36 Physical Composite Summary (PCS) and Mental Composite Summary (MCS).


At baseline, patients had significantly lower values than the norm on all SF-36 domains. At follow-up, operated patients were divided into seizure-free (International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] class 1 and 2, n = 53) or with continued seizures (n = 43). No differences in baseline HAD or SF-36 values were found between these groups. Seizure-free patients reached the same levels as the norm in all SF-36 domains except Social Function. Operated patients with continued seizures and nonoperated patients had unchanged scores. Fifty-one percent of seizure-free patients had an improvement reaching MIC for PCS and 45% for MCS. Corresponding results for patients with continued seizures were 28% in PCS and 28% in MCS, for nonoperated 33% in PCS and 29% in MCS. HAD anxiety scores improved significantly in only the seizure-free patients. Of all operated patients, 80% were satisfied with having had surgery and 86% considered that they had benefited, whereas 20% thought that surgery caused some harm.


In patients who were seizure-free after epilepsy surgery HRQOL normalized and anxiety decreased. Operated patients overwhelmingly considered epilepsy surgery to be beneficial. Nonetheless, only about half of the seizure-free patients achieved important HRQOL improvements, suggesting that seizure freedom does not in and of itself guarantee improved patient well-being.


A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.

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