Mental health difficulties are more common in children with epilepsy and their parents than in those without a chronic illness. Children with mental health difficulties are also more likely to have lower educational attainment. Children with both mental health difficulties and epilepsy and their families are therefore likely to be doubly disadvantaged. This research will investigate how mental health treatment affects children’s attainment at school, their physical health and their parents’ mental health and so help us to consider how best to support this vulnerable group of children with epilepsy and their families.
Dr Sophie Bennett
Mental health difficulties and lower educational attainment are more common in children with epilepsy than in those without a chronic condition. Dr Bennett and colleagues are currently investigating whether mental health treatments for children with epilepsy can be improved.
Combining attainment levels of pupils in England with hospital admissions data, the team will investigate whether treating mental health problems in children affects outcomes identified by families, including how well children perform at school, the impact on their parents’ own mental health and how it affects epilepsy symptoms.
This research will provide information about the importance of integrating mental health treatment for children with epilepsy with their education and epilepsy treatment, and help to improve support for them and their families.