Department of Child Neurology, Epilepsy Centre Motol, Charles University 2
nd Medical School, Prague, Czech Republic
Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological condition in childhood. In this paper we present results of analysis of a comparative survey, using data derived from 34-item questionnaire completed by 2 groups of children with epilepsy from the whole Czech Republic. The first group (1 217 children) was invited to complete the questionnaire in 1995, the second group (612 children) in 2004. The greatest attention is usually paid to the “biological” characteristics of epilepsy like control of seizures or adverse effects of medication. However, children’s perception or feelings about epilepsy and interferences with their everyday life (school, socializing, holidays, leisure time...) seem’s to be at least of the same importance. That’s why our main objective was to examine exactly such psychosocial aspects of quality of life (QOL) and we targeted to identify any potential shift of children’s perception over the last 10 years. Three principal informations arised out of this analysis: during the 10 years period adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) became less frequent, probably in accordance with the shift towards the use of new AEDs. The second group in feels to be less restricted in personal, social and sporting activities – most probably because they have generally achieved better control of seizures. The children admitted better awareness about epilepsy among teachers and friends over 10 years. The study has provided important information about the level of psychosocial QOL of children with epilepsy in the Czech Republic and showed a slight shift towards optimism in thinking and feeling of children with epilepsy during the 10-years period.