Physical activity status and quality of life in patients with epilepsy – Survey from level four epilepsy monitoring units

Rachel Green, Caroline Abe, David A. Denney, Rong Zhang, Alexander Doyle, Kareem Gadelmola, C. Munro Cullum, Jessica Simon, Stephanie Neaves, Ghazala Perven, Marisara Dieppa, Ryan Hays, Mark Agostini, Kan Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: People with epilepsy (PWE) tend to have sedentary lifestyles which may predispose them to a lower perceived quality of life (QOL). Moreover, the relationship between physical activity (PA) and QOL in populations of PWE with high disease burden has been under-studied. The goal of this study was to evaluate PA level and its impact on health-related QOL in PWE who were admitted to Level-4 epilepsy monitoring units (EMU). Methods: In this prospective observational study, 200 patients from two EMUs in Dallas, Texas completed the following standard surveys: Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity (RAPA), the Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE-31), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) questionnaire. Information on self-reported epilepsy history, severity of disease, and socioeconomic status were also collected. The diagnosis of epilepsy was confirmed by video-EEG monitoring. Results: Among the 200 who completed the survey, 113 had a diagnosis of epilepsy and 109 of them completed the RAPA. Ninety-two (84 %) of these PWE reported a sedentary level of physical activity (RAPA < 6) and 16 % reported an active level (RAPA ≥ 6). Self-reported QOL was slightly higher in PWE with an active level of PA compared to PWE with a sedentary level of PA (63.8 ± 15.0 vs 53.7 ± 17.9, p = 0.07), even though there was no difference in the severity of self-reported mood symptoms. After controlling for employment and seizure frequency, physical activity level measured by RAPA score was also positively related to QOL (r = 0.39, p = 0.01) and negatively correlated with anxiety symptoms (r = -0.28, p = 0.02) and depression symptoms (r = -0.25, p = 0.04). Conclusion: The majority of PWE in this survey reported sedentary lifestyles despite most of them being young to middle-aged adults. Higher PA level was associated with fewer self-reported mood symptoms and higher QOL. In conjunction with the literature, these results suggest that PWE with a wide range of disease burden should be encouraged to participate in regular exercise to potentially improve QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106639
JournalEpilepsy Research
Volume173
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • People with epilepsy
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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