Predicting wellbeing among people with epilepsy using illness cognitions

Kirstie Salter, Kirsty Prior, Malcolm Bond

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective This study sought to examine the synergistic contribution of illness-related perceptions (stigma, severity, and threat) and illness behavior to wellbeing among people with epilepsy. Poorer wellbeing was expected among those who perceived greater stigma, illness severity, and threat and had more extreme illness behavior. Methods Individuals with a diagnosis of epilepsy (N = 210), recruited through local and online support groups, completed a questionnaire comprising demographic and epilepsy-specific information, and validated measures of illness perceptions and behavior, epilepsy-related quality of life, and general psychological health. Results Bivariate associations among illness cognition, illness behavior, and wellbeing were all as expected. Structural equation modeling highlighted the strong, direct effect of illness threat on quality of life, with other contributions from perceived stigma and an abnormal illness behavior syndrome (i.e., maladaptive illness responses). Significant variance was accounted for in both quality of life (64%) and psychological health (34%). Conclusion Preliminary evidence of the contributions of illness threat and maladaptive illness responses to wellbeing highlights the need for longitudinal research to examine the dynamic nature of such findings. Clinicians are encouraged to consider the potential value of screening for both illness threat and abnormal illness behavior to facilitate interventions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


    • Epilepsy
    • Illness behavior
    • Illness cognitions
    • Psychological health
    • Quality of life
    • Structural equation modeling


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