Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Psychiatric and psychosocial comorbidity before and one year afte.pdf (16.91 MB)

Psychiatric and psychosocial comorbidity before and one year after epilepsy surgery.

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posted on 2019-11-22, 18:29 authored by Maurice J. Clancy


Epilepsy is a common disease with a prevalence of 0.5-1% of the population. The literature on psychopathology in refractory epilepsy is conflicting. In refractory epilepsy, surgical intervention is considered to reduce seizure frequency and in some cases prevent seizures. It has been reported that neurosurgical intervention for epilepsy is associated with significant undesirable psychiatric consequences. This study looked at psychiatric and psychosocial comorbidity in a sample of pre-operative epilepsy surgery candidates and also examined patients who proceeded to surgery at one year post-operatively to see whether surgery had positive or negative consequences on patients' mental health.


This study examined a sample of patients with medically refractory epilepsy and a prospective cohort study was conducted on a sub-group of this sample who underwent surgery and had psychiatric follow-up at one year postoperatively. This study used the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV (SCID I) to examine for an Axis I psychiatric diagnosis and the presence o f a personality disorder was assessed for using SCID II. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Quality of Life in Epilepsy 89 (QOLIE 89) were the subjective rating scales utilized.


The findings of this study demonstrated the high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity (54.4%) in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. A total of 48 patients had pre-operative and post-operative assessments at one year. There was a highly significant reduction post-operatively with the number of patients with a psychiatric diagnosis (p


Overall, this study demonstrated that undergoing surgery for medically refractory epilepsy had an overall positive impact on mental health with a significant reduction in the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms and an improved quality of life for patients.


First Supervisor

Professor David Cotter

Second Supervisor

Professor Mary Cannon


A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2015.

Published Citation

Clancy MJ. Psychiatric and psychosocial comorbidity before and one year after epilepsy surgery. [MD Thesis]. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2015.

Degree Name

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Date of award


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