ARCH Lab Collaborates on Paper Examining Parent Well-Being in Children with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

The ARCH lab recently collaborated on a paper titled “Trajectories of parent well-being in children with drug-resistant epilepsy” in the Journal of Epilepsia. This longitudinal cohort study was conducted across eight epilepsy centers in Canada to uncovered distinct trajectories of parent well-being over the first two years after their child’s evaluation for epilepsy surgery candidacy. The study involved 259 parents of children with drug-resistant epilepsy to shed light on crucial factors influencing parental mental health and family resources during this challenging period.

The study revealed three well-being trajectories. The optimal-stable group maintained minimal depressive/anxiety symptoms and high family resources. The mild-decreasing-plateau group experienced decreasing symptoms plateauing over time, with intermediate family resources. The moderate-decreasing group showed a slight decrease in symptoms with low stable family resources. The study found that parents of children with higher health-related quality of life, fathers, and those with higher household income were more likely to have better trajectories of well-being. The type of treatment was not a significant factor, but parents whose children were seizure-free at the last follow-up were more likely to experience optimal-stable or mild-decreasing-plateau trajectories.

The findings highlight the need for early identification and support for parents presenting with anxiety, depressive symptoms, and low family resources. Authors recommend offering more supportive services as part of the comprehensive epilepsy treatment plan to enhance the well-being of both parents and children