Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 808421, 9 pages
Research Article

Caregiver Burden in Epilepsy: Determinants and Impact

1Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
2MGH Epilepsy Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
3Department of Neurology, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
4Department of Neurology, University California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
5Department of Neurology, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
6Department of Neurology, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece

Received 3 October 2013; Revised 2 March 2014; Accepted 3 March 2014; Published 8 April 2014

Academic Editor: Raffaele Manni

Copyright © 2014 Ioannis Karakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. Caregiver burden (CB) in epilepsy constitutes an understudied area. Here we attempt to identify the magnitude of this burden, the factors associated with it, and its impact to caregiver quality of life (QOL). Methods. 48 persons with epilepsy (PWE) underwent video-EEG monitoring and their caregivers completed questionnaires providing demographic, disease-related, psychiatric, cognitive, sleep, QOL, and burden information. Results. On regression analysis, higher number of antiepileptic drugs, poorer patient neuropsychological performance, lower patient QOL score, and lower caregiver education level were associated with higher CB. Time allocated to patient care approximated but did not attain statistical significance. A moderate inverse correlation between CB and caregiver QOL physical component summary score and a stronger inverse correlation between CB and caregiver QOL mental component summary score were seen. Conclusion. In a selected cohort of PWE undergoing video-EEG monitoring, we identified modest degree of CB, comparable to that reported in the literature for other chronic neurological conditions. It is associated with specific patient and caregiver characteristics and has a negative effect on caregiver QOL.