Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Quality of Life, Mental Health, Epilepsy Co-morbidity Studies

This page provides an overview of the research CDC has supported to understand how epilepsy impacts quality of life, mental health conditions associated with epilepsy, and other co-occurring conditions.

The Impact of Epilepsy on Quality of Life in the Elderly

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Purpose: to determine factors affecting quality of life in seniors with epilepsy.


Martin R, Griffith HR, Faught E, Gilliam F, Mackey M, Vogtle L. Cognitive functioning in community dwelling older adults with intractable partial epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2005;46(2):298–303.

Martin R, Vogtle L, Gilliam F, Faught E. What are the concerns of older adults living with epilepsy? Epilepsy & Behavior. 2005;7:297–300.

Martin R, Vogtle L, Gilliam F, Faught E. Health-related quality of life in senior adults with epilepsy: what we know from randomized clinical trials and suggestions for future research. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2003;4(6):626–34.


California Health Interview Survey: Epilepsy and Health-related Quality of Life

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA

Purpose: to obtain population-based estimates of the prevalence of epilepsy and the burden of impaired quality of life among persons with epilepsy; to obtain epilepsy-related data in racial/ethnic populations; and to identify health disparities and unmet needs associated with the disorder, using a representative random-digit dialed telephone survey of 55,000 households.


Kobau R, Zahran H, Grant D, Thurman DJ, Price PH, Zack MM. Prevalence of active epilepsy and health-related quality of life among adults with self-reported epilepsy in California: California Health Interview Survey, 2003. Epilepsia 2007; 48(10):1904–13.


Using Distance Technology for Treating Depression in People with Epilepsy

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA

Purpose: to develop a small-group, cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness intervention that can be delivered to patients with epilepsy via conference call or the Internet, to help alleviate and manage symptoms of depression.


Thompson NJ, Walker ER, Obolensky N, Winning A, Barmon C, Diiorio C, Compton MT. Distance delivery of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: project UPLIFT. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010;19(3):247–54.

Walker ER, Obolensky N, Dini S, Thompson NJ. Formative and process evaluations of a cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness intervention for people with epilepsy and depression. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010;19(3):239–46.


Intervention Research on Home-Based Depression Treatment in People with Epilepsy

University of Washington, Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Seattle, WA

Purpose: to evaluate the effectiveness of the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS) in adults with epilepsy who have minor or major depression or dysthymia, using a randomized controlled trial to determine the intervention's acceptability, feasibility, and outcomes in preparation for subsequent community-based dissemination.


Ciechanowski P, Chaytor N, Miller J, Fraser R, Russo J, Unutzer J, Gilliam F. PEARLS depression treatment for individuals with epilepsy: a randomized controlled trial. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010;19(3):225–31.

Chaytor N, Ciechanowski P, Miller JW, Fraser R, Russo J, Unutzer J, Gilliam F. Long-term outcomes from the PEARLS randomized trial for the treatment of depression in patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2011;20(3):545–549.


California Health Interview Survey 2005: Epilepsy, Psychological Distress, and Disease Comorbidity

University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Purpose: to assess the prevalence and severity of psychological distress among community-dwelling adults with epilepsy, using a validated mental illness instrument (Kessler 6 scale), and to assess the burden of unmet mental health need in this population, using data from the 2003 and 2005 California Health Interview Survey.


Thompson AW, Kobau R, Park R, Grant D. Epilepsy care and mental health care for people with epilepsy: California Health Interview Survey, 2005. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012;9:110140. Accessed October 9, 2014.