Summary: Purpose: To study the impact of epilepsy and its treatment on the quality of life of people living in Iran and in countries in the Gulf and Near East.
Methods: Clinical, demographic, and psychosocial details were collected through the use of a self-completed questionnaire distributed to patients attending hospital outpatient clinics.
Results: Data were collected from 3,889 people with epilepsy from 10 countries. More than 40% of all respondents had frequent seizures, and reported levels of side effects from medication were high, the most commonly reported being nervousness, headaches, and tiredness. A significant number of respondents reported changing their medications because of side effects or poor seizure control. Respondents reported that epilepsy and its treatment had a significant impact on a number of different aspects of their daily lives. A significant number of respondents felt stigmatized by their epilepsy. Reported health status was reduced when compared with that of people without epilepsy, particularly for physical and social functioning and energy and vitality, as assessed by using a generic health status measure, the SF-36.
Conclusions: This is the largest study to date documenting the impact of epilepsy and its treatment in Iran, the Gulf, and Near East regions. Differences were found between the quality-of-life profiles of respondents in this study and those who participated in an earlier parallel study in Europe.