Health care provision in the United States is driven by the fact that most health insurance is commercial and private. This leads to the tendency to view patients as units that will produce a future cash yield. The quality of life (QOL) movement in the United States is in some ways a response to this view and has a role in convincing insurers that new treatments and techniques are worth increased expenditure. In the case of epilepsy, QOL research has become essential in improving the quality of care offered to people with epilepsy. In this review, some of the outcomes of using the Quality of Life in Epilepsy questionnaire are reviewed, the preliminary data from a community-based study of people with epilepsy are described, and recent studies comparing QOL in epilepsy and other neurologic and nonneurologic diseases are discussed. This review illustrates the complexity of QOL issues and the need for the widespread use of QOL measures in people with epilepsy.
- Psychosocial function
- Quality of life