Health behavior in teens with epilepsy: How do they compare with controls?

C. G. Yu, A. Lee, Elaine Wirrell, E. M.S. Sherman, Lorie Hamiwka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The goal of the study was to determine if adolescents with epilepsy have poorer health behavior than healthy controls. Health behavior was compared in two cohorts: cognitively normal teens aged 11-16 with epilepsy and similarly aged controls. Teens completed the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) and Piers-Harris II, and the primary caregiver completed the Family Assessment Measure III. Forty-four teens with epilepsy and 119 orthopedic controls returned questionnaires. Adolescents with epilepsy had poorer health behavior than controls (P < 0.003). They felt significantly less positive about their health (P < 0.01) and were less physically active (P < 0.02). Poorer family function (P < 0.05) and lower self-esteem (P < 0.001) were predictors of poorer health behavior. Given the increased prevalence of comorbid diseases in adults with epilepsy, clinicians should routinely query teens with epilepsy regarding health behavior and provide anticipatory guidance and appropriate interventions for poor health behavior choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Adolescent
  • Epilepsy
  • Family function
  • Health behavior
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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