While it is often stated that psychiatric co-morbidity in PWE is under-recognized and under-treated, little research has directly examined this assertion. The aims of this study were to understand the rates of confirmed diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety in people with epilepsy (PWE). Two samples were recruited: a hospital sample of 106 adult outpatients with epilepsy who underwent a structured psychiatric diagnostic interview and a community sample of 273 PWE who completed validated measures of depression and anxiety symptoms online. In the hospital sample, fewer participants who met criteria for an anxiety disorder had received a prior diagnosis compared to those with a depressive disorder (36% vs 67%). In the community sample, the rates of known diagnosis were comparable (65% vs. 69%). Approximately, one-third of PWE with an anxiety disorder (or clinically significant symptoms) were receiving current treatment compared to approximately half of those with depression. These findings confirm the high rates of psychiatric co-morbidity in PWE and indicate that a large proportion of anxiety diagnoses, in particular, are undetected and not receiving either pharmacological or psychological support. Future work is needed to improve the detection and management of psychiatric co-morbidity in PWE, especially for anxiety disorders.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Epilepsy and Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2021|
- mental health
- psychiatric comorbidity
- psychological treatment