Self-injury in people with intellectual disability and epilepsy: A matched controlled study

Serafino Buono, Fabio Scannella, Maria Bernadette Palmigiano, Maurizio Elia, Mike Kerr, Santo Di Nuovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We aimed to identify the presence of self-injurious behavior in a sample of 158 people with intellectual disability and epilepsy as compared with a control sample consisting of 195 people with intellectual disability without epilepsy. The Italian Scale for the Assessment of self-injurious behaviors was used to describe self-injurious behavior in both groups. The groups were matched for ID degree: mild/moderate (20 and 20 respectively), severe/profound (45 in both samples) and unknown (4 in both samples). Seventy-four percent of the first sample were diagnosed with symptomatic partial epilepsy. The prevalence of self-injurious behaviors was 44% in the group with intellectual disability and epilepsy and 46.5% in the group with intellectual disability without epilepsy (difference not significant). The areas most affected by self-injurious behaviors in both samples were the hands, the mouth and the head. The most frequent types of self-injurious behaviors were self-biting, self-hitting with hands and with objects. Self-injurious behavior is frequently observed in individuals with epilepsy and intellectual disability. Our study does not suggest that the presence of epilepsy is a risk factor for self-injurious behavior in this patient group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-164
Number of pages5
JournalSeizure
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual disability
  • Localization
  • Seizures
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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