Vol 45, No 5 (2011)

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Cognitive functioning and behaviour of epileptic children in parents' assessment

Dorota Talarska1, Barbara Steinborn2, Michał Michalak3
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3843(14)60316-9
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2011;45(5):474-479.


Background and purpose

Cognitive functioning and behaviour of chronically ill children are affected by many factors, including anxiety due to hospitalization, persistent symptoms of sickness and adverse side effects of medications. The aim of this work was to seek out parents' opinion concerning cognitive functioning and behaviour of children with epilepsy.

Material and methods

The study comprised 156 children with epilepsy aged 7–18 and treated in the Department of Developmental Neurology at Karol Marcinkowski Poznan University of Medical Sciences and in an outpatient clinic. The research tool used was the questionnaire Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) completed by parents. Assessment of cognitive functioning and behaviour was based on the analysis of the areas V (cognitive processes) and VII (behaviour).


Parents assessed children's functioning in the areas of cognitive processes and behaviour at a similar level – 55 points. In the area of cognitive processes, concentration while performing some tasks and reading was assessed as the worst. A significant difference in caregivers' assessment was found according to age, frequency of seizures and duration of disease. In the area analysing the child's behaviour, parents indicated getting angry easily and not being upset by other people's opinions. The display of aggression towards others got the lowest number of comments.


The children's functioning was assessed by parents as rather poor in both analysed areas. Parents of children treated with polytherapy noticed more difficulties in cognitive functioning and behaviour than parents of children treated with one medication.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska