The purpose of the study was to examine different aspects of well-being in mothers with epilepsy with school-aged children.
In an observational study, mothers, identified from the European Registry of Antiepileptic Drugs and Pregnancy database in the Netherlands, completed questions on epilepsy, the impact of epilepsy on daily functioning, quality of life, behavioral problems, and parenting stress. Descriptive analyses were performed to examine the prevalence of behavioral problems and the impact of epilepsy on different aspects of the mother’s daily functioning and family life. We subsequently investigated which factors contributed most to the impact of maternal epilepsy using regression analyses.
One hundred fifty-six (46%) of the 342 invited mothers with epilepsy participated. The majority (89%) had low epilepsy severity, with well-controlled seizures. Internalizing problems within the borderline or clinical range were reported by 23% of the mothers. Behavioral problems were significantly correlated with epilepsy severity (r = 0.26, p = .002), impact of epilepsy on daily functioning (r = 0.32, p < .001), and quality of life (r = -0.52, p < 01). Quality of life was in general good (mean = 8, standard deviation [SD] = 1), with low impact of epilepsy. Epilepsy affected mostly maternal self-confidence, work, and general health. Mothers indicated to experience no to little impact of epilepsy on the relationship with their children, partner, or family. Regression analyses showed that epilepsy severity (1.0, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.4 to 1.6; p = .002) and quality of life (-1.3, CI: -2.3 to -0.4; p = .007) were significant contributors to the impact of epilepsy on daily functioning, while other factors (maternal education, family type, behavioral problems, and parenting stress) were nonsignificant.
The current study shows that mothers with epilepsy generally fared well. Epilepsy negatively impacted the lives of some mothers, though. As maternal well-being is of importance for mother-child interaction and child development, clinicians should be aware of the impact of epilepsy on maternal psychosocial outcomes and family life of women with epilepsy.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.