We have developed two outcome measures for childhood epilepsy: a seizure severity (SS) scale and a side-effects (SE) scale. Both scales have been designed for completion by parents. The scales were tested in two pilot phases and the results of this stepwise analysis are described here. The final scales' psychometric properties were assessed in a group of 80 children with active epilepsy, representative of the population at whom the scales were aimed: children with chronic epilepsy, aged 4-16 years, including all seizure types and epilepsies, as well as children with neurological comorbidity. The SS scale and SE scale showed good internal consistency and test-retest stability. Although there was a significant positive correlation between the SS scale and the SE scale, this was low, indicating that the scales measure a different clinical trait. The SE scale consisted of two subscales: a Toxic subscale, measuring the severity of dose-related side-effects, and a Chronic subscale, measuring the severity of long-term behavioural and cognitive side-effects. These subscales for side-effects showed a high correlation and can be used as a joint scale. These scales have the potential to improve outcome assessment in childhood epilepsy and they can be used to assess important aspects of quality of life in this population.

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doi.org/10.1016/0920-1211(96)00012-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/10715
Epilepsy Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Arts, W. F., Carpay, H., Vermeulen, J., Stroink, H., Brouwer, O., Peters, B., … Aldenkamp, A. (1996). Parent-completed scales for measuring seizure severity and severity of side-effects of antiepileptic drugs in childhood epilepsy: development and psychometric analysis. Epilepsy Research, 24(3), 173–181. doi:10.1016/0920-1211(96)00012-5