Epilepsy and quality of life in adults: A review of instruments

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The aim of this report is to describe the state of the art of quality of life (QoL) instruments used for adults with epilepsy and to help those in the field to identify, select, and use the instruments most suitable for their purposes. We searched Medline and the Cochrane Database for articles in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian published by the end of 2002. Electronic retrieval was completed by hand-search. The final list included 203 articles reporting 205 studies. There were 62 validation studies and 143 clinical studies, including 7 population studies, 45 "pure" observational, 37 observational with aspects of validation and 54 experimental (38 randomized clinical trials and 16 non-randomized or non-controlled trials). Twenty-four generic and 21 specific QoL instruments were used. Eight were used in more than 10 studies, while 21 were used only once; 7/24 generic and 19/21 specific questionnaires were validated for epilepsy. The different domains considered in the 26 questionnaires specifically validated for epilepsy are listed. We classified questionnaires according to three aspects: validation, diffusion of use, and specificity of domains. Questionnaires covering all three aspects (WPSI, ESI-55, QOLIE-89, QOLIE-31, QOLIE-10, Liverpool Batteries) should be preferred when planning a QoL study in epilepsy. However, those covering only two aspects (SF-36, SEALS, EPSES, EOS, PESOS, QOLAS) could also be useful in selected situations or may become a first-choice instrument in the future, after more widespread use or complete validation. All the other instruments should at present be considered only for second choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-44
Number of pages22
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • Epilepsy
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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