John Libbey Eurotext

Depression in patients with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic based on longitudinal self-reporting Volume 23, issue 2, April 2021

1 Southwest Medical University, Luzhou 646000, Sichuan Province, China
2 Sichuan Academy of Medical Science & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Medical Administration Department, Chengdu 610072, China
3 Sichuan Academy of Medical Science & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Department of Neurology, Chengdu 610072, China
4 Key Laboratory of Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, Sichuan, China
5 Sichuan Academy of Medical Science & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Department of Neurology, Chengdu, Sichuan, China; University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
* Correspondence: Yulong Niu, Sichuan University, No.24# S. Sec 1, 1st Ring Rd. Chengdu, China 610065 Yang Si 32# W. Sec 2, 1st Ring Rd. Chengdu, China 610072
a Lingqi Sun and Qianning Mo contributed equally


The current study screened major depression in people with epilepsy (PWE) during the epidemic of the novel coronavirus-related disease COVID-19, in order to identify whether the outbreak generated negative psychological impact on PWE.


A Chinese version of the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy (C-NDDI-E), a self-reporting depression inventory, was applied for rapid detection of major depression. Assessment was carried out online during three different periods (prior to, during, and after the outbreak of COVID-19), with the aim of identifying changes in prevalence of depression and associated risk factors.


A total of 158 PWE were recruited into the study (48.7% female). The questionnaire completion rates were 94.3% and 70.9% during and after the outbreak, respectively. The prevalence of depression prior to the epidemic, as the baseline, was 34.8% and increased to 42.3% during the period of the epidemic. Towards the end of the outbreak, the prevalence declined towards the baseline (36.6%). Factors such as living alone (OR = 4.022, 95% CI: 1.158-13.971, P = 0.028) and active seizures before the epidemic (OR = 2.993, 95% CI: 1.197-7.486, P = 0.019) were associated with depression during the epidemic. Monotherapy appeared to be protective against depression (OR = 0. 105, 95% CI: 0.047-0.235, P <0.001).


Our results suggest that the pandemic exerts negative influence on PWE's mental health. Depression is one of the common psychological disorders that needs greater attention during this extraordinary period.