Psychosocial Problems and Physical Activity at Different Ages in Patients with Epilepsy
Research background and hypothesis. Physical inactivity of patients with epilepsy is associated with the course
of the disease, treatment, preconceived attitudes and myths that their physical activity might be dangerous and cause
seizures (Steinhoff et al., 1996; Nakken, 2001 ).
The aim of our research was to examine the links between the psychosocial problems of patients’ with epilepsy,
their hysical activity, self-reported quality of life as well as their connection with patients’ age.
Research methods. The participants were 209 patients with epilepsy from three different regions (Šiauliai,
Panevėžys and Pasvalys) of Lithuania. The subjects were selected with the help of quantitative closed-type survey –
QOLIE-89 and IPAQ international questionnaire. The research findings were compared between two age groups:
younger (20–39 years of age) and senior (40–59 years of age) subjects.
Research results. The main psychosocial problems for patients with epilepsy were concerns about possible
injuries during the seizures, experience of shame and other social restraint, health problems that might occur as a
result of taking antiepileptic drugs for a long period of time, negative effects of antiepileptic drugs and memory
impairments. These problems were more common among younger respondents (p < 0.05). Physical activity levels
in patients with epilepsy were inadequate and different. The main factor that contributed to these differences was
patients’ age. Younger respondents trained more in their leisure time, while seniors spent more time reading or
sleeping (p = 0.002).Younger patients lacked knowledge about the most appropriate types of physical activities,
senior respondents were inactive were to the disapproval of medical professionals and their health problems
(p = 0.006). Younger respondents evaluated their lifestyle as good enough more often than seniors.
Discussion and conclusion. Psychosocial problems and physical inactivity of patients with epilepsy were
connected with their age. Younger respondents more often than seniors were physically active and their self-reported
quality of life was good.
Keywords: age of patients with epilepsy, social problems, physical activity, evaluation of lifestyle.
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