Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

COVID-19 pandemic experiences among people with epilepsy: Effect on symptoms of co-occurring health conditions and fear of seizure.

Roghani A, Bouldin E, Mobasher H, Kalvesmaki A, Panahi S, Henion A, VanCott A, Raquel Lopez M, Jo Pugh M. COVID-19 pandemic experiences among people with epilepsy: Effect on symptoms of co-occurring health conditions and fear of seizure. Epilepsy & Behavior : E&B. 2023 Jul 1; 144:109206.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic profoundly affected people worldwide, but little is known about how it impacted people with epilepsy (PWE). We examined the associations between COVID-19 stressors and health outcomes including increases in other health symptoms and fear of seizure among PWE. METHODS: This cross-sectional study used data from an online survey that asked about demographic characteristics, health conditions, and potential life stressors during COVID-19. Data were collected from October 30 to December 8, 2020. COVID-19 stressors were anger, anxiety, stress, healthcare access, fear of seeking healthcare, social isolation, sense of control over their lives, and alcohol consumption. A binary variable was created for each of these measures to indicate whether PWEs experienced a negative change versus a neutral or positive change. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess the associations of COVID-19 stressors with primary outcomes: exacerbated co-occurring health conditions and increasing fear of seizure during the pandemic. RESULTS: Of the 260 PWE included in the study, 165 (63.5%) were women; the average age was 38.7?years. During the survey administration period, 79 (30.3%) of the respondents reported exacerbated co-occurring health conditions, and 94 (36.2%) reported an increased fear of seizures. Regression results indicated that the fear of seeking healthcare during COVID-19 was associated with both exacerbated co-occurring health conditions (aOR 1.12; 95%CI 1.01-1.26) and increasing fear of seizure (aOR 2.31; 95%CI 1.14-4.68). Social isolation was associated with exacerbated co-occurring health conditions during COVID-19 (aOR 1.14; 95%CI 1.01-1.29). Reduced access to physical healthcare was associated with increasing fear of seizure (aOR 2.58; 95%CI 1.15-5.78). CONCLUSION: A considerable number of PWE experienced more symptoms of existing health conditions and fear of seizure during the initial year of the pandemic (2020). Fear of seeking healthcare services was associated with both negative outcomes. Assuring access to health care and reducing social isolation could potentially reduce negative outcomes for PWE. It is necessary to provide adequate support for PWE to reduce risks as COVID-19 continues to be a health concern.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.