Depression and Anxiety in Iranian Mothers of Children with Epilepsy

Atefeh SOLTANIFAR, Farah Ashrafzadeh, Fatemeh MOHARERI, Naghmeh MOKHBER



How to Cite this Article: Soltanifar A, Ashrafzadeh F, Mohareri F, Mokhber N. Depression and Anxiety in Iranian Mothers ofChildren with Epilepsy. Iranian Journal of Child Neurology 2012;6(1):29-34.



Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder in children. Parents with epileptic children have many psychosocial care needs. So the main goal of this study was to evaluate depression and anxiety in Iranian mothers with epileptic children.

Materials & Methods

We identified 30 mothers of children with epilepsy and 30 mothers of children without epilepsy with children aged between 8 and 12 years who met the study criteria. In all children with epilepsy, the mothers were the main caregivers and all these children lived in two-parent families. Children in the control group were in the same age. Ninety-eight percent of children in the control group lived in two-parent families with the mother as the main caregiver. All mothers fulfilled the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.


According to these data, BDI scores were significantly higher in the mothers of epileptic children (mean of Beck score=16.5) compared to the control group (mean of Beck score=9.8). The total, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scores for mothers of children with epilepsy were 100.3, 51.7 and 48.6. However, these scores in the control group were 86.9, 45.1 and 41.8. These differences were statistically significant.In a second analysis, using the demographic data, we did not find any statistically significant relation between anxiety or depression and the mothers’ job, children’s medication and other demographic variables.


Neurologists and psychiatrists need to develop better programs for adequate management of psychiatric disorders in mothers with epileptic children.



1. Cowan LD. The epidemiology of the epilepsies inchildren. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 2002;8:171-81.

2. Schiariti V, Farrell K, Hoube JS, Lisonkova S. Periodprevalence of epilepsy in children in BC: a population-basedstudy. Can J Neurol Sci 2009 Jan;36(1):36-41.

3. Otero S. Psychopathology and psychological adjustmentin children and adolescents with epilepsy. World J Pediatr2009 Feb;5(1):12-7.

4. Rodenburg HR, Stams GJJM, Meijer AM, Aldenkamp AP,Dekovic´ M. Psychopathology in children with epilepsy:a metaanalysis. J Pediatr Psychol 2005 Sep;30(6):453-68.Epub 2005 Mar 3.

5. Rodenburg R, Meijer AM, Dekovic M, AldenkampAP. Family factors and psychopathology in childrenwith epilepsy: a literature review. Epilepsy Behav 2005Jun;6(4):488-503.

6. Lovejoy M, Graczyk PA, O_Hare E, Neuman G. Maternaldepression and parenting behavior: a meta-analytic reviewClin Psychol Rev 2000;20:561-92.

7. Shore CP, Buelow JM, Austin JK, Johnson CS.Continuing psychosocial care needs in children with newonsetepilepsy and their parents. J Neurosci Nurs 2009Oct;41(5):244-50.

8. Pianta RC, Lothman DJ. Predicting behavior problemsin children with epilepsy: child factors, disease factors,family stress, and child-mother interaction. Child Dev1994 Oct;65(5):1415-28.

9. Dunn DW, Austin JK, Huster GA. Symptoms ofdepression in adolescents with epilepsy. J Am Acad ChildAdolesc Psychiatr 1999;38:1133-8.

10. Shore CP, Austin JK, Huster GA, Dunn DW. Identifyingrisk factors for maternal depression in families ofadolescents with epilepsy. J Specialists Pediatr Nurs2002;7:71-80.

11. Yongli, Cheng-Ye ji, Jiong Qin, Zhi-Xiang Zhang.Parental anxiety and quality of Life of epileptic children.Biomed Environ Sci 2008 Jun;21(3):228-32.

12. Williams J, Steel C, Sharp GB, DelosReyes E, PhillipsT, Bates S, et al. Parental anxiety and quality of life inchildren with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2003;4:483-6.

13. Lv R, Wu L, Jin L, Lu Q, Wang M, Qu Y, Liu H. Depression,anxiety and quality of life in parents of children withepilepsy. Acta Neurol Scand 2009 Nov;120(5):335-41.

14. Baki O, Erdogan A, Kantarci O, Akisik G, KayaalpL, Yalcinkaya C. Anxiety and depression in childrenwith epilepsy and their mothers. Epilepsy Behav 2004Dec;5(6):958-64.

15. Yam WK, Ronen GM, Cherk SW, Rosenbaum P, ChanKY, Streiner DL, et al. Health-related quality of lifeof children with epilepsy in Hong Kong: how does itcompare with that of youth with epilepsy in Canada?Epilepsy Behav 2008 Apr;12(3):419-26.

16. Ghassemzadeh H, Mojtabai R, Karamghadiri N,Ebrahimkhani N. Psychometric properties of a Persianlanguageversion of the Beck Depression Inventory Second edition: BDI-II-PERSIAN. Depress Anxiety2005;21(4):185-92.

17. Hojat M, Shapurian R, Mehryar AH. Psychometricproperties of a Persian version of the short form of theBeck Depression Inventory for Iranian college students.Psychol Rep 1986 Aug;59(1):331-8.

18. Kalkhoran MA, Karimollahi M. Religiousness andpreoperative anxiety: a correlational study. Ann GenPsychiatry 2007;6:17.

19. Mu PF, Kuo HC, Chang KP. Boundary ambiguity, copingpatterns and depression in mothers caring for children withepilepsy in Taiwan. Int J Nurs Stud 2005 Mar;42(3):273-82.

20. Lv R, Wu L, Jin L, Lu Q, Wang M, Qu Y, et al. Depression,anxiety and quality of life in parents of children withepilepsy. Acta Neurol Scand 2009 Nov;120(5):335-41.

21. (Wood LJ, Sherman E, Hamiwka LD, Blackman M,Wirrell E. Depression, anxiety, and quality of life insiblings of children with intractable epilepsy. EpilepsyBehav 2008 Jul;13(1):144-8.

22. Tosun A, Gokcen S, Ozbaran B, Serdaroglu G, Polat M,Tekgul H, et al. The effect of depression on academicachievement in children with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav2008 Oct;13(3):494-8.

23. Rodenburg R, Meijer AM, Dekovic M, Aldenkamp AP. Family factors and psychopathology in childrenwith epilepsy: a literature review. Epilepsy Behav 2005Jun;6(4):488-503.

24. Wirrell EC, Wood L, Hamiwka LD, Sherman EM. Parenting stress in mothers of children with intractableepilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2008 Jul;13(1):169-73.


Epilepsy; Mothers; Depression; Anxiety

Full Text:





  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)