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Depression, Suicidality Among People with Epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav; ePub 2018 Aug 13; Friedman, et al

Both depression and suicidal ideation are common among people with epilepsy (PWE) enrolled in self-management studies, according to a recent investigation. Researchers examined correlates of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in adults using pooled data from epilepsy self-management studies conducted by sites in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Research Center's Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network that assessed depression severity with the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). They found:

  • Of the 770 subjects in the analysis (mean age 42.4 ± 13.0 years), the mean total PHQ-9 score was 9.4 ± 6.6 and 334 subjects (43.4%) had moderate to severe depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 ≥ 10).
  • Only ongoing seizures and low education were associated with moderate-severe depressive symptoms in multiple logistic regression analysis.
  • Suicidality (PHQ-9, item 9 score ≥ 1) was endorsed by 155 subjects (20.1%).
  • Only nonsuicidal depressive symptoms were associated with suicidality in multiple variable logistic regression analysis.


Friedman D, Spruill TM, Liu H, et al. Depressive symptoms and suicidality among individuals with epilepsy enrolled in self-management studies: Results from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network. [Published online ahead of print August 13, 2018]. Epilepsy Behav. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2018.06.024.