During the past decade, several scales have been developed to improve the assessment of outcome in epilepsy. These scales were developed for adults and their reliability, validity and usefulness have been established. However, there is also a need for alternative measures of outcome in childhood epilepsy, especially a measure of seizure severity (SS) and measures pertaining to quality of life (QoL). Four of these adult scales are reviewed and compared to examine their applicability in childhood epilepsy. Two important methodological differences between them are discussed: (a) patient self-report vs. physician-based scales and (b) generic vs. disease-specific instruments. QoL in epilepsy is briefly reviewed. Severity of seizures and severity of side-effects are relatively neglected areas of importance to QoL in epilepsy. The existing instruments for adults are not appropriate for children in their present form. Some specific methodological issues, which are relevant for the development of scales for children with epilepsy, are subsequently discussed. New scales pertaining to physical and psychosocial aspects of QoL in childhood epilepsy are being developed. In the near future, data on their reliability, validity and usefulness will become available. A combination of scales focusing on specific aspects of QoL, including SS and severity of adverse effects, and more traditional clinical data may provide a more complete assessment of outcome in childhood epilepsy.

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doi.org/10.1016/0920-1211(96)00013-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/10711
Epilepsy Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Arts, W. F., & Carpay, H. (1996). Outcome assessment in epilepsy: available rating scales for adults and methodological issues pertaining to the development of scales for childhood epilepsy. Epilepsy Research, 24(3), 127–136. doi:10.1016/0920-1211(96)00013-7