To test whether elevated levels of depressive symptoms affect reports of child outcomes in a sample of mothers of children with new-onset epilepsy.
A sample of 339 mothers from the Health-related Quality of Life in Children with Epilepsy Study was used in the analysis. Mothers’ depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). To examine whether maternal mental health status moderated mothers’ reports of each core domain of health-related quality of life (functional status, psychological functioning, social functioning, and disease state/symptoms), a series of multiple regression analyses was conducted. Interactions, depicted as product terms between CES-D scores and neurologist-reported measures, were used to determine the presence of depression distortion.
Interactions in the regression models were not significant with one exception in the functional status domain of mothers’ assessments of their child’s energy/fatigue and its impact on daily activities [β = 0.24 (0.06, 0.41)]. Mothers with high levels of depressive symptoms were shown to have reported higher scores for their child’s energy/fatigue and its impact on daily activities.
Results from this study do not suggest that the mental health status of mothers affects reporting on the domains of health-related quality of life for their children with new-onset epilepsy.