Failed transition to independence in young adults with epilepsy: The role of loneliness.


Epilepsy Centre Kempenhaeghe, Heeze, The Netherlands; Department of Neurology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Many young adults with epilepsy are still living with their parents ('failed transition to independence') despite reaching the adult age. This study evaluated patient-related variables and measures of loneliness correlated to 'failed transition to independence' in adults, 25-30 years of age, with (childhood-onset) epilepsy.
METHODS : Patients with (childhood-onset) epilepsy and 25-30 years of age were recruited from Epilepsy Center Kempenhaeghe. Inclusion criteria were: diagnosis of (childhood-onset) epilepsy, and an (estimated) IQ > 70. Patients were sent one questionnaire and informed consent was obtained from all participants. Questions included the patient's level of functioning and satisfaction on three transitional domains (medical status, educational/vocational status, independence/separation from their parents), satisfaction with their friendships, and the validated De Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale. 'Transition to independence' was defined and categorized in a continuum with scores ranging from 0 ('Failed transition') to 4 for all patients. A Bivariate Correlation analysis was used to compute correlations between patient characteristics and failed transition to independence.
RESULTS : 59 patients were included in the analysis, of which 19 (32.2%) had a failed transition to independence. A statistically significant correlation was found between transition to independence and the social loneliness scale (p =  0.047) and the total loneliness scale (p =  0.04), and for the patients self-reported satisfaction with their independence/separation from parents (p =  0.01) and friendships (p =  0.04).
CONCLUSIONS : Adults with epilepsy with a failed transition to independence experience loneliness and are not satisfied with their current developmental and social situation.


Epilepsy,Failed transition,Loneliness,Psychosocial,Transition,