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Original articles

Prevalence and correlates of depression in patients with epilepsy in Sri Lanka

Authors:

Silumini De Silva ,

North Colombo Teaching Hospital, Ragama, LK
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Amila Isuru,

Rajarata University
About Amila
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences
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Asiri Rodrigo,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About Asiri
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Lalith Kuruppuarachchi

University of Kelaniya, LK
About Lalith
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorder in patients with epilepsy and it is often associated with poor quality of life, increased risk of suicide and poor seizure control, yet remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. The prevalence and associations for depression in patients with epilepsy vary between studies reflecting regional and cultural influences. Therefore, it is important to identify unique attributes within a community on this phenomenon This is the first study from Sri Lanka on the prevalence and correlates of depression in patients with epilepsy.


Method: We conducted this cross-sectional study at the Epilepsy clinic, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama.  All consenting patients with a diagnosis of epilepsy followed up at the clinic, during study period, were enrolled. Symptoms of depression were screened with Beck Depression Inventory II and diagnosis was confirmed with a clinical assessment by psychiatrist.


Results: Of 150 participants, majority were female 63.3%. (95)  and 36.7% (55) of the sample were between 26-45 years. The prevalence of depressive disorder was 22% (33).

 

The prevalence of depression was significantly associated with the recent diagnosis of epilepsy, use of multiple antiepileptic medications   and duration of seizure free period (p<0.05). There is a statistically significant association between prevalence of depression with the use of carbamazepine, topiramate, clobazam and phenobarbitone. Regression analysis revealed higher the duration individuals suffering from epilepsy were at lower odds of having depression compared with that of individuals suffering from lower duration of epilepsy. For each year in increase of duration of epilepsy, the odds of depression decreased by 2% (95% CI 0.3% to 5.1%)


Conclusion: The prevalence of depression is high in patients with epilepsy.  Risk of having depression is higher during the early phase of the illness. Therefore, it is important to screen patients with epilepsy for depressive disorder during the early course of the illness.

 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v66i3.9492
How to Cite: De Silva, S., Isuru, A., Rodrigo, A. and Kuruppuarachchi, L., 2021. Prevalence and correlates of depression in patients with epilepsy in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Medical Journal, 66(3), pp.138–143. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v66i3.9492
Published on 27 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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