Vol 50, No 6 (2016)

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Suicidality and its determinants among Polish patients with epilepsy

Magdalena Bosak1, Wojciech Turaj1, Dominika Dudek2, Marcin Siwek2, Andrzej Szczudlik1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2016.07.009
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2016;50(6):432-438.


Background and purpose

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of suicidal ideation among Polish patients with epilepsy and to assess the potential determinants of suicidality in this cohort.

Material and methods

The study comprised 301 patients with epilepsy seen in the tertiary epilepsy clinic. Patients’ characteristics included demographic variables, epilepsy-related variables, as well as occurrence of comorbidities, ongoing use of any other medications, family history of epilepsy and/or depression. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depressive symptoms, and question no. 9 of BDI was specifically used to reveal suicidality.


Mean age of subjects was 35.5 years. 113 (37.5%) had frequent seizures and 96 patients (31.9%) had remission. BDI score>11 points (suggestive for depression) was found in 127 subjects. Suicidal ideation has been revealed in 30 (10.0%) out of 301 studied patients. Patients with suicidal ideation were older and more commonly reported frequent seizures. Almost all of them (93.3%) had clinically significant depressive symptoms (BDI score>11). Multivariate analysis revealed that severity of depressive symptoms (OR=1.16 per one-point increase in BDI score, 95% CI: 1.10–1.22, p<0.001) and the use of potentially depressogenic medication (OR=3.04, 95% CI: 1.04–8.89, p=0.04) were independent determinants of suicidality among studied patients.


Suicidal ideations were revealed by about 10% of studied epileptic patients who visited tertiary center for epilepsy. Independent predictors of suicidality among studied patients included depression itself and the use of potentially depressogenic medication.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska