Epilepsy surgery in the underserved Hispanic population improves depression, anxiety, and quality of life

Publication date: June 2018Source:Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 83
Author(s): Jason A.D. Smith, Michelle Armacost, Emily Ensign, Susan Shaw, Nora Jimenez, David Millett, Charles Liu, Christianne N. Heck
ObjectiveThe objective of this study was to investigate the effect of epilepsy surgery on depression, anxiety, and quality of life (QOL) in a Hispanic, primarily immigrant, Spanish-speaking population with intractable epilepsy (IE).MethodsPatients with IE from a comprehensive epilepsy treatment center in an urban, public healthcare setting who underwent resective brain surgery between 2008 and 2014 (N=47) and completed presurgical and postsurgical neuropsychological evaluation were retrospectively identified. Presurgical and 1-year postsurgical Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and QOLIE-31 ratings were analyzed as postsurgical outcome measures. One-tailed paired sample t-tests were used to evaluate whether scores improved postoperatively. Established severity level classifications of depression and anxiety (i.e., minimal, mild, moderate, or severe) were used to analyze changes in occurrence of depression and anxiety.ResultsMedium to large improvements on the BDI-II and most QOLIE-31 subscales, with a smaller effect on the BAI and remaining QOLIE-31 subscales, were noted 1-year postsurgery. Levels of depression and anxiety were significantly reduced 1-year postsurgery. Depression, anxiety, and QOL improvements were robust and unaffected by gender, levels of education, or hemisphere of surgery.ConclusionsThis study supports the positive benefits of epilepsy surgery on depression, anxiety, and QOL in Hispanic, primarily undocumented immigrant, Spanish-speaking people with epilepsy (PWE) in the US. These results are useful for educating this particular population about the possible benefits of surgery for IE and can enhance presurgical counseling.