Psychological comorbidities in epilepsy: a cross-sectional survey among Ghanaian epilepsy patients
Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and patterns of psychiatric disorders in epilepsy patients at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital, Accra, Ghana.
Design: The study design was a cross-sectional survey
Setting: The study was conducted at the Neurology Clinic of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Korle-nBu Teaching hospital, Accra, Ghana.
Participants: A total of one hundred and sixty-six patients diagnosed with epilepsy aged at least 18 years and accessing services at the neurology clinic participated in the study.
Main Outcome Measure: Prevalence and patterns of psychiatric disorders among patients diagnosed with epilepsy using the Brief Symptom Inventory.
Results: The mean age for onset of epilepsy was 20.1 ± 16.9 years, and generalized epilepsy (73.2%) was the major type of epilepsy identified. The aetiology of the epilepsy condition was unknown in most patients (71.1%). The estimated mean Brief Symptom Inventory scores in all the nine diagnostic psychiatry characteristics (Depression, Anxiety, Somatization, Hostility, Phobic Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Psychoticism, Interpersonal Sensitivity, and Paranoid Ideation) were higher in the epilepsy patients compared to the normative data scores for non-patients. Global Severity Index scores for females were significantly higher (p=0.002) than the scores for males on all the psychological outcomes except hostility.
Conclusion: Psychological disorders were prevalent among epilepsy patients, with females more likely to experience psychological problems than males. The findings call for a holistic approach in managing epilepsy to highlight and manage some exceptional psychological comorbidities.
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