Correlates of quality of life in mothers of children with diagnosed epilepsy.
Abstract Contrary to a plethora of studies on the quality of life (QoL) of parents caring for children with chronic conditions, information regarding parents of children with epilepsy remains limited. The main purpose of the current study was to explore associations between children's biomedical characteristics, mothers' sociodemographic characteristics, mothers' situational factors, and QoL among mothers of children with epilepsy. One hundred and fifty mothers of children with epilepsy completed valid and reliable measures. The study was conducted at a large outpatient clinic for children with epilepsy in a central hospital in southern Israel. Sense of mastery and optimism emerged as significant predictors of all four domains of QoL; self-rated health (SRH) and mothers' socioeconomic status were significant predictors of three QoL domains; mothers' sleeping disturbances and children's behavioral problems predicted one QoL component. These results highlight the pivotal role that mastery and optimism play in securing the QoL of mothers caring for children with epilepsy. Moreover, mother's socioeconomic status and SRH should also be screened to deal with possible socioeconomic deprivation. In addition, health professionals should screen mothers and children for sleeping disturbances, and provide information about sleep hygiene. Psychosocial interventions need to be developed and offered to parents, in an attempt to address the social and behavior problems of children with epilepsy.