Standardized Screening for Depression in Pediatric Epilepsy

Erin Fecske, Paul Glasier, Lines M. Vargas Collado, Elizabeth Rende

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Depression is a common comorbidity of epilepsy that is under-recognized and under-diagnosed. To improve recognition, a brief screening tool, the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory-Epilepsy-Youth (NDDI-E-Y) was implemented in a level-IV pediatric epilepsy clinic. Method: This quality improvement is a pre-post design measuring the impact of standardized depression screening, via the NDDI-E-Y tool, in youth 12-17 years with epilepsy. Those with positive screens, scores > 32, received social work evaluation and mental health resources. Education was provided to all patients in standard discharge paperwork. Results: Of N = 176 patients evaluated, n = 112 met criteria to complete the NDDI-E-Y. Fifteen percent (n = 17) of patients had positive screens, suggesting that they are at risk for depression. Discussion: Depression is a challenge when managing patients with epilepsy and may impact their quality of life and seizure control. Routine depression screening is recommended and feasible in the outpatient setting with a standardized work process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • depression
  • Epilepsy
  • pediatric epilepsy
  • quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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