Sociodemographic Factors in Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery

Hudin N. Jackson, Nisha Gadgil, I. Wen Pan, Dave F. Clarke, Kathryn M. Wagner, Christopher A. Cronkite, Sandi Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Despite documented efficacy of surgical treatment in carefully selected patients, surgery is delayed and/or underutilized in both adult and children with focal onset epilepsy. The reasons for surgical delay are often assumed or theorized, and studies have predominantly targeted the adult population. To focus on a more targeted pediatric population and to determine identifiable reasons for intervention, this study aimed to investigate time to epilepsy surgery among pediatric patients with medically intractable epilepsy associated with focal cortical dysplasia and to identify sociodemographic and clinical associations in time to epilepsy surgery. Methods: We reviewed 96 consecutive pediatric patients who underwent surgery for medically intractable epilepsy with a diagnosis of focal cortical dysplasia. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to study the association of sociodemographic variables of patients with focal cortical dysplasia and time to epilepsy surgery and postoperative seizure control. Results: We identified that non-white patients on average had a longer duration of epilepsy before surgery and traveled shorter distances for care. Non-white patients were more likely to have government-funded insurance. Patients who traveled the shortest distance to the surgical center underwent epilepsy surgery at an older age. Conclusions: Sociodemographic factors of travel distance, insurance, and race influenced time to epilepsy surgery for children with focal cortical dysplasia. Further research is warranted to target barriers in access to subspecialty care and develop ways to identify earlier the patients who may benefit from evaluation and deployment of surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric neurology
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Cortical dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Focal cortical dysplasia
  • Pediatric
  • Seizure surgery
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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