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BACKGROUND: Comorbid mental health conditions are common in people with epilepsy and have a significant negative impact on important epilepsy outcomes, although the evidence is mostly from high-income countries. This systematic review aimed to synthesise evidence on the association between comorbid mental health conditions and quality of life and functioning among people with epilepsy living in low- and middle income countries (LMICs). METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Global Index medicus (GID) and PsycINFO databases from their dates of inception to January 2022. Only quantiative observational studies were included. Meta-analysis was conducted for studies that reported the same kind of quality of life and functioning outcome. Cohen's d was calculated from the mean difference in quality-of-life score between people with epilepsy who did and did not have a comorbid depression or anxiety condition. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO: CRD42020161487. RESULTS: The search strategy identified a total of 2,101 articles, from which 33 full text articles were included. Depression was the most common comorbid mental health condition (33 studies), followed by anxiety (16 studies). Meta-analysis was conducted on 19 studies reporting quality of life measured with the same instrument. A large standardized mean effect size (ES) in quality of life score was found (pooled ES = -1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) - 1.70, - 0.63) between those participants with comorbid depression compared to non-depressed participants. There was significant heterogeneity between studies (I2 = 97.6%, p 

Original publication




Journal article


Health Qual Life Outcomes

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Disability, Epilepsy, Functioning, Low and middle income countries, Mental disorders, Neuropsychiatric comorbidity, Quality of life, Humans, Mental Health, Developing Countries, Quality of Life, Anxiety, Epilepsy