Influence of patient, caregiver, and family factors on unmet healthcare needs in children with drug-resistant epilepsy undergoing epilepsy surgery evaluation

Mayra L. Almanza-Sepulveda, Mary Lou Smith, Elysa Widjaja*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether patient, caregiver, and family factors correlate with unmet healthcare needs in children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) who were evaluated for epilepsy surgery. Methods: Caregivers of children with DRE completed questions on unmet healthcare needs, including physical and mental needs. Patient (demographic, seizure severity, and comorbidities), caregiver (sociodemographics, depression, and anxiety), and family (family functioning, resources, and demands) factors were evaluated. A series of bivariable regression was conducted to assess the associations with unmet needs (overall, physical, and mental needs), followed by multivariable regression. Results: Of the 86 children with DRE, 32 (37.2%) reported having overall unmet healthcare needs, 21 (24.4%) have unmet physical, and 13 (15.1%) have unmet mental healthcare needs. Multivariable regression showed that the odds of overall unmet needs in children were higher in patients with higher depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, p = 0.03), and caregivers who were unemployed (OR = 3.8, p = 0.008). The odds of unmet physical needs in children were higher among patients with higher depressive symptoms (OR = 2.0, p = 0.02), caregivers who were older (OR = 1.1, p = 0.02), and caregivers who were unemployed (OR = 6.5, p = 0.008). There were no significant correlates between patient, caregiver, and family factors with unmet mental needs (all p > 0.05). Interpretation: Children with DRE were at risk for not receiving needed healthcare. Patient factors such as patient depressive symptoms, and caregiver factors such as caregivers' age and employment status were associated with unmet needs. Identifying the predictors of unmet healthcare needs is a necessary step in addressing unmet needs in this population with DRE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106502
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume99
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Pediatric epilepsy
  • Unmet healthcare needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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