Abstract

Objective: To test an a priori hypothesis that surgical intervention for intractable epilepsy (IE) will improve quality of life (QOL) in an underserved, primarily immigrant, Hispanic population. Method: Pre- and post-surgical Quality of Life in Epilepsy-31 (QOLIE-31; Spanish Version) results were compared for 22 adult Hispanics (males = 68.2 %; females = 31.8%) from Mexico (68.2%), El Salvador (13.6%), Guatemala (9.1%), and the USA (9.1%) who underwent standard temporal lobectomy (81.8%), selective amygdalohippocampectomy (13.6%), or extratemporal lesionectomy (4.5%) for treatment of IE. Participants were part of a comprehensive epilepsy treatment center in Los Angeles. Mean age at surgery was 34.6 years (SD = 11.3). Mean years of education was 10.6 (SD = 4.1). Seizures arose from temporal lobe in 95.5% (54.5% left, 45.5% right hemisphere). Results: One-tailed, paired t-tests demonstrated expected improvement on all QOLIE-31 subscales 1 year postsurgery. Total QOLIE (p < 0.001), Medication Effects (p < 0.001), Social Function (p < 0.001), Distress (p < 0.001), Overall QOL (p = 0.009), and Energy/Fatigue (p = 0.026) subscales significantly improved. Emotional Well-Being (p = 0.139) and Cognitive (p = 0.098) subscale improvements were not significant. QOLIE-31 scores did not significantly differ by age, education, gender, or surgical lateralization. Conclusion(s): Surgical treatment for IE significantly improved QOLIE-31scores in all subscales except Cognition and Emotional Well-Being in a primarily immigrant, underserved Hispanic population. Our results are generally consistent with postsurgical QOLIE-31 outcomes in other ethnic populations. Our results suggest that further investigation is recommended to explore this population's neuropsychological and emotional profiles as areas to target for postsurgical rehabilitation.