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Archive » 2005 » 4 » | Archive » Medical field » Research papers » Clinical research paper » Archive » Medical field » Fields » Pediatrics » Archive » Medical field » Fields » Psychiatry »

Psychosocial Risk Factors in Adolescents with Epilepsy

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

The aim of the study is to identify psychosocial risk factors among adolescents with epilepsy and compare them with those among healthy peers. We will also search for gender differences within studied group. The study sample consisted of 68 adolescents (34 males and 34 females) who are treated for epilepsy in Neurology department of Paediatric clinic Ljubljana. The age of these individuals ranged from 14 to 19 years when a structured questionnaire for assessing psychosocial risk factors was administered. Information on their physical and psychosocial medical history was obtained by reviewing medical documentation. The con­trol group consisted of 4,260 Slovenian high school students of the same age with no chronical medical condition. They filled in the same questionnaire in a study about psychosocial risk factors (Tomori 1998). It is statistically significant that adolescents with epilepsy in compa­rison with healthy peers take less tranquillisers, drugs, and drink less alcohol. They get more emotional support from their parents, and at the same time they more often come into conf­lict with them. The desire to create their own family is stronger among studied group. They feel less stress because of school and have less personal problems, which they find easy to discuss. They are also more frequently professionally treated. There is no significant differen­ce between the groups concerning depression, self-esteem and suicidal behaviour. Statistically significant gender differences within studied group are: females are given less emotional sup­port from parents, they are less frequently involved in sport and have more often suicidal thoughts than males. Adolescents with relatively well-controlled epilepsy in comparison with healthy peers are at lower risk for the abuse of psychoactive substances, suicide; they have similar level of self-esteem, as well as less personal problems and lots of family support. Des­pite strong family protection, good professional care and protective role of medications, there is no difference in suicidal behaviour between the two groups.

Authors:
Kobilšek Katja, Zaviršek Živa, Ravnik M. Igor, et al.

Keywords:
epilepsy, substance abuse, suicide, health behaviour, depression, self concept, adolescence, questionnaires

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2005; 44: 377−96.

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