Volume 89, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Up to 60% of the 50 million persons with epilepsy (PWE) worldwide have depression and anxiety and 80% of PWE live in low-income regions. Common psychiatric comorbidities are often unrecognized and undertreated. We developed and validated a 10-item screening tool for the detection of depression and anxiety at primary healthcare clinics in Zambia in which the baseline detection rate among PWE was 1%. We trained primary care clinic workers in selected clinics to use this screening tool. A retrospective chart review was conducted for 120 consecutive PWE who received care one month after training. Detection improved from 1% to 49%, and treatment was frequently initiated. Of the 120 screened, 59 (49.2%) scored above cutoff point of 18. Of these persons, 43 (73.0%) were positive for depression, 16 (23.0%) were positive for anxiety, 38 (64.4%) received counseling, 18 (30.5%) received antidepressants, and 3 (5.1%) were referred to a psychiatrist. Use of this screening tool resulted in improved mental health care for PWE.


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Supplementary PDF

  • Received : 30 Jan 2013
  • Accepted : 20 Aug 2013
  • Published online : 06 Nov 2013
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