Quality of life in epilepsy in Bhutan

Altaf Saadi, Bryan Patenaude, Damber Kumar Nirola, Sonam Deki, Lhab Tshering, Sarah Clark, Lance Shaull, Tali Sorets, Guenther Fink, Farrah Mateen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose To assess the quality of life in epilepsy (QOLIE) among adults in the lower middle-income country of Bhutan and assess the potential demographic and clinical associations with better QOLIE. Methods People with clinically diagnosed epilepsy were prospectively enrolled at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu (2014-2015). Regression models were constructed to assess the potential impact of age, sex, residence in the capital city, wealth quintile, educational attainment, seizure in the prior year, seizures with loss of consciousness, self-reported stigma score, and need for multiple antiepileptic drugs. Results The mean Bhutanese QOLIE-31 score among 172 adults (mean age 31.1 years, 93 female) was 48.9/100 ± 17.7. Younger age, lower educational attainment level, and increased self-perceived stigma were each observed to have an independent, negative association with QOLIE (p < 0.05), while a patient's wealth quintile, sex, seizure frequency, seizure type and number of antiepileptic drugs were not. Education appeared to be most strongly associated with QOL at the high school and college levels. Conclusions There are potentially modifiable associations with low QOLIE. Addressing the educational level and self-perceived stigma of PWE may have an especial impact. The low QOLIE in Bhutan may reflect cultural approaches to epilepsy, health services, or other factors including those outside of the health sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Education
  • Epilepsy
  • Global health
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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