Improving Symptoms of Depression in Adults with Epilepsy

Depression is a common problem for people living with epilepsy, occurring in up to 50% of adults. In many cases, the depressive symptoms can cause serious problems and affect quality of life. Treatment of depression also ranks among the top 5 research priorities for people with epilepsy.

Dr. Kathryn Hum and her team compared two educational programs - the UPLIFT and EpINFO programs - designed for people with epilepsy and depression. These programs have never been offered before in Canada. A unique aspect of these programs is that they can be completed over the telephone, which is an important consideration for adults who do not have driver's licenses and/or live in rural areas, as they do not need to make travel plans to attend the sessions in-person.

To date, we have collected data from 72 individuals who have participated in the programs. Short-term and long-term data are still being collected for the last two cohorts of participants.

If the programs are shown to be effective, Community Epilepsy Agencies may offer these programs so that clients learn new coping strategies and develop a stronger support network.

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