Memory deficits are very frequent in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, but they predict a small proportion of variance of their quality of life (QOL) in previous studies, possibly due to the lack of consideration of mediating factors of this relationship. This study aimed to examine whether trait anxiety mediates the relationship between memory and QOL in this population, controlling the influence of demographic and seizure-related factors.
In this cross-sectional study, 119 adults with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) underwent a neuropsychological evaluation, in which memory, anxiety, and QOL were assessed.
In the total sample, better delayed memory had an effect on better QOL indirectly through lower trait anxiety (B = 0.13, SE = 0.06, p = 0.04, abcs = 0.13; κ2 = 0.18; PMind = 0.76). Additionally, delayed memory has not a direct association with QOL (B = 0.04, SE = 0.09, p = 0.64, Cohen’s f 2 = 0.005; PMdir = 0.24), and the total effect of delayed memory on QOL tended to reach statistical significance (B = 0.17, SE = 0.10, p = 0.08). The proposed mediation model yielded excellent fit (CFI = 1.00, RMSEA = 0.0001, SRMR = 0.009, and χ2 (1) = 0.50, p = 0.48) and explained 38% of the variance of QOL.
These findings suggest that trait anxiety is an important factor in understanding the relationship between memory and QOL in patients with TLE, considering the influence of demographic and seizure-related variables, and may have relevant implications for decision-making in this population.