2007 issue 1


Volume 16, issue 1

Review article

Some aspects of quality of life in persons with epilepsy

Krzysztof Owczarek1, Hanna Rozenek1, Lidia Michalak2
1. Zakład Psychologii Medycznej Akademii Medycznej w Warszawie
2. Poradnia Przeciwpadaczkowa Wojewódzkiego Szpitala Specjalistycznego w Gdańsku
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2007; 16 (1): 63-68
Keywords: epilepsy, quality of life, psychosocial functioning


Objectives. The article presents criteria by which patients assess their quality of life, as well as medical professionals' approach to this variable. Moreover, main sources of discomfort in epileptic patients important for their treatment progress and outcome are discussed.
Review. Although medical professionals for years have focused their interests and hopes on the continually increasing offer of the pharmaceutical industry, they pay now more and more attention to issues related to their patients' psychological condition and to psychological forms of helping them to cope with daily life hassles. As regards epilepsy, a chronic condition with a very heterogeneous etiology, the concepts of quality of life and QoL-related psychosocial functioning are gaining particular importance. In medical diagnosis of the degree of discomfort resulting from epilepsy the focus is usually on the frequency and dynamics of epileptic seizures. Doctors ' efforts are aimed at pharmacotherapy optimisation so as to achieve a complete control over the patient's seizures or, if that is impossible, to reduce their frequency and intensity. On the other hand, epileptic patients hold their own views on their condition limitations and have their own criteria for their quality of life evaluation. Assessing their quality of life epileptic patients take into account not only their physical health, but also their social status, a sense of being useful and self-sufficient, as well as a range of aspects of their daily functioning.
Conclusions. Discomfort experienced by epileptic patients results from a discrepancy between their plans and expectations on the one hand and their daily life failures on the other. Coping with epilepsy involves an ability to make use of one's own potential in overcoming illness-related limitations and difficulties in daily life.

Address for correspondence:
Prof. Krzysztof Owczarek
Zakład Psychologii Medycznej Akademii Medycznej
ul. Trojdena 2, 02-109 Warszawa