Anxiety and depression in children with epilepsy and their mothers

Orhan Baki, Ayten Erdogan, Orhun Kantarci, Gul Akisik, Levant Kayaalp, Cengiz Yalcinkaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objective. Children with epilepsy have high rates of depression and anxiety. The majority of studies concentrate on the children with epilepsy, but the emotional impact of epilepsy on family members is of clinical concern. In this cross-sectional study we aimed to examine the association between epilepsy in childhood and adolescence, and anxiety and depression in these patients and their mothers. Methods. We studied 35 children and adolescents with seizures (age range, 7-19 years), 35 gender-matched healthy controls (age range, 8-17) who did not have any chronic medical illness, and mothers of these individuals (n = 70) in a cross-sectional analysis. We administered the Kovac Child Depression Inventory (CDI) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIc) to the children. We administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to the mothers of these children. Pearson correlations were used to analyze dependence between variables, and Student's t test was used to compare mean values between test scores. Results. Patients with epilepsy had higher CDI scores (mean ± SD, 12.48 ± 6.35) than controls (9.31 ± 5.11) (P < 0.05), whereas the STAIc scores did not differ between cases (34.03 ± 8.29) and controls (35.20 ± 6.23) (P < 0.05). Mothers of children with epilepsy did not have more depression or anxiety symptoms than mothers of children without epilepsy as measured by BDI and STAI scores (P > 0.05). There was no correlation between mothers' scores and patients' or controls' scores. Conclusions. These results support findings from previous studies that children and adolescents with epilepsy have a higher frequency of depressive but not anxiety symptoms than the general population of healthy children and that this is independent of their mothers' symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-964
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Anxiety
  • Childhood
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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