CDC - Preventing Chronic Disease: Volume 9, 2012: 11_0140
Epilepsy Care and Mental Health Care for People with Epilepsy: California Health Interview Survey, 2005
Alexander W. Thompson, MD, MBA, MPH; Rosemarie Kobau, MPH, MAPP; Royce Park, BS; David Grant, PhD
Suggested citation for this article: Thompson AW, Kobau R, Park R, Grant D. Epilepsy care and mental health care for people with epilepsy: California Health Interview Survey, 2005. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110140. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110140.
Epilepsy, which requires complex care, can be further complicated by comorbid mental illness. Evidence indicates deficiencies exist in the care received for both epilepsy-related care and for mental health care in people with epilepsy. Evidence indicates there are deficiencies in both these areas for people with epilepsy. Our objective was to evaluate treatment gaps in epilepsy and mental health care among California adults with epilepsy and to compare the mental health services and treatment received by people with epilepsy to that of the general population.
We conducted multivariate analyses of data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (N = 43,020), which included data from 604 adult participants who said they had been told they had epilepsy, to examine comparisons of interest.
Twenty-seven percent of California adults with epilepsy who had had at least 1 seizure in the past 3 months had not seen a neurologist or epilepsy specialist in the past year. Of respondents with psychological distress and epilepsy, 84% perceived a need for mental health care in the past year, but only 57% had seen a mental health provider during that time. Of respondents without epilepsy but with psychological distress, 77% perceived a need for mental health care in the past year, but only 32% had seen a mental health provider during that time.
California adults with epilepsy appear to have substantial unmet needs in both epilepsy care and mental health care. Adults with epilepsy and psychological distress appeared to have received more mental health treatment than psychologically distressed adults without epilepsy. Efforts should be made to improve access to quality epilepsy care that includes assessment and treatment of mental health disorders.