Trajectory of health-related quality of life in parents of children treated with epilepsy surgery versus medical therapy

Elysa Widjaja*, Klajdi Puka, Mary Lou Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Child health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has been shown to improve after epilepsy surgery and is linked to parent HRQOL. We postulated that the HRQOL of parents whose children underwent epilepsy surgery would improve over two years compared to those treated with medical therapy. The aim of the study was to evaluate the trajectory of HRQOL of parents whose children received treatment with epilepsy surgery or medical therapy over two years. Methods: This multi-center study recruited parents whose children were evaluated for epilepsy surgery. Parents completed measures of care-related QOL (CarerQOL) at the time of their children’s surgical evaluation, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years later. Additional measures included parent anxiety and depression, satisfaction with family relationships, family resources and demands, and child clinical variables. A linear mixed model was used to compare the trajectories of parent HRQOL of surgical and medical patients, adjusting for baseline clinical, parent, and family characteristics. Results: There were 111 children treated with surgery and 154 with medical therapy. The trajectory of parent HRQOL was similar among parents of surgical and medical patients over the two-year follow-up. However, HRQOL of parents of surgical patients was 3.0 points higher (95%CI − 0.1, 6.1) across the follow-up period compared to parents of medical patients. Parents of seizure-free children reported 2.3 points (95%CI 0.2, 4.4) higher HRQOL relative to parents of non-seizure-free children across the two-year follow-up. Conclusion: Parent HRQOL did not improve after their children were treated with epilepsy surgery, possibly related to ongoing comorbidities in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1305
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Caregiving burden
  • Medical therapy
  • Parent health-related quality of life
  • Pediatric epilepsy surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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