Journal of Pediatric Epilepsy 2020; 09(04): 186-192
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716867
Original Article

The Importance of Assessing and Treating Mental Health in Transition-Aged Adolescents with Epilepsy: A 1-Year Follow-up

Sarah A. Healy
1  Division of Neurology, The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ontario, Canada
Tadeu A. Fantaneanu
2  The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Canada
1  Division of Neurology, The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ontario, Canada
3  Faculty of Medicine, The University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
› Author Affiliations


Mental health issues become especially problematic when adolescents with epilepsy are preparing to transition from pediatric to adult care. Consistent with guidelines, a transition clinic with ongoing mental health assessment was created, providing treatment to patients scoring in the moderate severity range or higher. In order to examine the effectiveness of our epilepsy transition clinic and the impact of mental health in transition-aged adolescents, baseline and one-year follow-up data were compared in 36 participants (M = 15.82 years, 24 males). Results showed that the majority of participants had improved or comparable mental health scores at follow-up. Furthermore, participants who met threshold for mental health treatment had significantly improved mental health (t = 3.19, p = 0.015), while those who did not showed worsened mental health (t =  − 2.50, p = 0.019). Looking specifically at mental health impact, those with worsened mental health showed significantly worsened quality of life (t = 3.35, p = 0.012). Furthermore, those without mental health issues showed improved transition skills (t =  − 3.86, p = 0.002), while those with mental health issues did not. Results suggest that the transition clinic is effective in helping transition-aged adolescents with their mental health. Additionally, findings suggest that addressing these mental health issues are essential to ensuring successful transitions and the best outcomes in these patients.

Publication History

Received: 29 July 2020

Accepted: 06 August 2020

Publication Date:
18 September 2020 (online)

© 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany