Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the socioeconomic consequences of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). Methods: This study comprised 132 (equal males and females) consecutive patients aged ≥ 18 years, who fulfilled the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) definition for DRE, prospectively seen in a tertiary care center in South India. We used a structured questionnaire to gather relevant information. Results: The mean age was 31 (range 18–70) years. Mean age of onset of epilepsy was 17 years and mean duration of epilepsy 14 years. The most common epilepsy type and etiology were focal epilepsy and gliotic lesions secondary to perinatal insults, respectively. The average out of the pocket expenditure on antiseizure drugs annually amounted to 19% of the gross national product (GNP)/capita, which was borne by family members in more than two-thirds of the subjects. Almost 60% reported epilepsy having affected their education, 40% their employment, and 90% their marital prospects. Female patients were less often employed outside their homes and had more marital problems compared with males. Conclusions: In addition to high seizure burden, DRE adversely affects the pursuit of higher education, employment, and marriage. Besides the direct cost of epilepsy, these issues augment both the patient and the caregiver's liability. Socioeconomic consequences of DRE are widely prevalent in developing countries, and this study highlights the need to address them.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Behavioral Neuroscience