Coping with Epilepsy: How Do They Influence Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL)?

1Pei Lin Lua, Widiasmoro Selamat Neni and Talib Nor Samira


Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) status of people with epilepsy (PWE) could likely be influenced by their coping mechanisms. Our study aimed to 1) determine the association between HRQoL profiles and coping categories, 2) correlate HRQoL domains and coping mechanisms and 3) compare coping strategies of PWE with different HRQoL levels. A crosssectional sample of epilepsy out-patients was recruited from the Neurology Clinic, Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah, Kuala Terengganu. SPSS 16 was employed for data analysis. Upon written consent, included patients completed the Malay Quality of Life In Epilepsy (MQOLIE-30) and the Malay Briefaaaaaa COPE instruments. Sixty out of 72 patients (response rate = 83.3%) consented participation (median age = 27.5 years; range 18-65 years; male = 53.3%; unmarried = 63.3%; Malay = 90.0%; SPM /Cambridge O’ level equivalent education or lower = 81.4%; unemployed = 35.0%; rural residents = 70.0%). Problem-focused coping mechanisms were generally preferred by PWEs compared to emotion-focused strategies (p<0.05). Behavioural Disengagement and Self-Blame were significantly associated with almost all HRQoL domains meanwhile Energy/Fatigue and Overall Quality of Life were significantly linked to the most coping strategies. Patients with good HRQoL significantly preferred to cope via Positive Reframing, Planning and Religion compared to their counterparts (p<0.05). On the other hand, patients with poor HRQoL significantly favoured Substance Use, Denial, Behavioural Disengagement, Venting and Self-Blame to deal with epilepsy (p<0.05). Healthcare providers could incorporate advice on effective coping styles for PWE in an attempt to balance the treatment outcomes in terms of both physiological and psychosocial benefits.


coping, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), epilepsy

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