Objectives: Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in children and comorbid depression is common. This study aimed to assess the frequency of depressive symptoms along with demographic and clinical factors in children diagnosed with epilepsy in a tertiary care institution in Oman.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between June 2016 and August 2018 and included children (n = 75) aged 6-12 years old attending the epilepsy clinic at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman. The cohort constituted of children with epilepsy (CWE) following up at a dedicated unit. We used the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale for Children to assess the presence of depressive symptoms. Associated factors, including history of seizure in the last three months, compliance with antiepileptic medications, and type of epilepsy were also examined.
Results: Depressive symptoms were endorsed in 52.0% of CWE and 96.0% were compliant to medications. Recurrent seizures were present in the last three months among 48.0% of the CWE. The type of epilepsy was significantly associated with the presence of depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: Depression is prevalent among Omani CWE. Certain clinical factors appeared to increase the risk of depression among this population. The findings of this study fill a gap in the existing literature and call for further work aiming to explore possible tailored recognition and CWE.