Loss of driving privileges profoundly affects QoL of patients with epilepsy | AES


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Takeaway

  • Loss of driving privileges can have a profound impact on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with epilepsy.

Why this matters

  • Very few published studies have analyzed the effect of driving restrictions on emotional well-being, daily living, and QoL.

Study design

  • University of Connecticut investigators distributed a prospective anonymous questionnaire to adults (age >18 years) with history of seizures and prior driving experience. 
  • The survey included 78 questions on seizure types, medications, driving restrictions, compliance, car accidents, distances traveled, and other factors. 

Key results

  • Mean age of respondents was 40.6; 37.5% were male, with mean seizure duration of 5.8 years. 
  • 69% had generalized convulsions, with frequency of up to several daily (13.3%) to seizure-free more than 2 years (26.7%); the highest percentage (33.3%) reported seizures occur about every 3 months. 
  • 85.7% were told at some point not to drive, and 66.7% were told they should not be driving now. 
  • 46.2% reported that they currently drive; 8.3% reported disobedience to the driving restriction.
  • Most patients (84.6%) reported QoL was slightly worse or much worse because of driving restrictions; 66.7% reported much worse sense of independence.