Adult Epilepsy: Effect of Treatment on Mood

Mood disorders, especially depression, are common in patients with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Center routinely screens for depressive symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to identify and treat depression as soon as possible, using Primary Care Depression Treatment Guidelines.1 Early identification and treatment should result in improvement in patients’ care, given the significant affect of depression on quality of life.

Change in Depressive Symptoms in Adult Epilepsy Patients

2009 – 2018

For patients with at least moderate depressive symptoms (defined as PHQ-9 scores ≥ 10), a clinically meaningful improvement was seen in 54.6% of the surgical group and 53.8% of the medical group. Clinically meaningful change was defined as a total point change of ≥ 5 points.2 The median duration of follow-up was 1033 days (range, 44–3574) in the surgical group and 853 days (range, 1–3885) in the medical group.

  1. Pignone MP, Gaynes BN, Rushton JL, Burchell CM, Orleans CT, Mulrow CD, Lohr KN. Screening for depression in adults: a summary of the evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2002 May 21;136(10):765-776.
  2. Löwe B, Unützer J, Callahan CM, Perkins AJ, Kroenke K. Monitoring depression treatment outcomes with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Med Care. 2004 Dec;42(12):1194-1201.