To examine the feasibility of administering and the psychometric properties of a general health status questionnaire in adults with epilepsy, and to assess the health status of these patients.
Prospective, cross-sectional, observational study.
Neurology clinic of a tertiary care medical center.
One hundred forty-eight ambulatory adults with epilepsy.
Patients completed the SF-36, a general health status questionnaire. Respondent burden and data quality as well as psychometric characteristics were evaluated. Patients' SF-36 scale scores, adjusted for comorbidities, were compared with those of 641 people without chronic conditions with the same sociodemographic characteristics.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Administering the SF-36 to adult outpatients with epilepsy is feasible and results are psychometrically sound. Compared with those who were not ill, patients had significantly (p < 0.001) lower (0 = worst, 100 = best) scores in six of the eight SF-36 domains: general health perceptions (57.7 vs 82.1), mental health (61.3 vs 79.6), vitality (53.5 vs 67.8), role limitations owing to physical (69.6 vs 95.0) and emotional problems (67.2 vs 88.4), and social functioning (75.2 vs 89.9).
Lower SF-36 scores may reflect patients' assessments of the balance among epilepsy, seizures, and antiepileptic drug therapy-related effects. Incorporating health status information into therapeutic decision making may help to attain the ultimate goal of improving patients' health.