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Epilepsy Behav ; 112: 107323, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-642555


OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to assess if patients with epilepsy (PWE) experienced an increase in seizure frequency and self-reported stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Saudi Arabia in April 2020. An electronic self-administered questionnaire was distributed to PWE via their treating neurologist. The variables included were demographic and baseline clinical characteristics (age, gender, living situation, occupational status, type of epilepsy, duration of epilepsy, number of antiepileptic medications (AEDs), presence of known psychiatric illness, and use of psychiatric medications), their seizure control in the month prior to the pandemic, perceived stress during this period of time, sleep changes, compliance changes, and change in seizure control during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 156 patients completed the questionnaire, with 29.5% reporting an increase in seizure frequency. Additionally, 59.4% reported an increase in self-reported stress and 71.2% experienced a significant change in their sleep during this period. Higher baseline seizure frequency, more AEDs, noncompliance, increase in self-reported stress, and sleep changes are the significant factors associated with increase in seizure frequency during the pandemic. CONCLUSION: Identifying high-risk patients for seizure recurrence is important in order to provide them with adequate support to reduce such risk.

Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections , Epilepsy/drug therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Employment , Epilepsy/physiopathology , Epilepsy/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/drug therapy , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Psychotropic Drugs/therapeutic use , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Seizures/drug therapy , Self Report , Sleep , Sleep Wake Disorders/psychology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult