Indexed on: 12 Dec '18Published on: 12 Dec '18Published in: Epilepsy & Behavior
The objectives of this study were to identify executive functioning (EF) phenotypes in youth with epilepsy and to examine whether phenotypes differ on psychosocial and medical outcomes (i.e., absence/presence of seizures in the past three months), health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and emotional and behavioral functioning. Youth 5-18 years with diagnosed epilepsy and caregivers completed a battery of questionnaires as part of a larger national validation of the Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) Epilepsy Module. The primary measure of interest was the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Parent Form. Medical chart reviews and demographic data were also collected. Latent class analysis was used to identify EF phenotypes. Chi-square and analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted to examine EF phenotype group differences on seizure outcomes, HRQOL, and behavioral and emotional functioning. Two-hundred and thirty-seven children with epilepsy (M = 11.2 years; 56% female; 60% White: Non-Hispanic; 55% experienced seizures in the past three months) and their caregivers participated. Four EF phenotypes were identified: Group 1 - No EF deficits (45% of sample), Group 2 - Global EF deficits (29% of sample), Group 3 - Behavioral Regulation + Working Memory deficits (8% of sample), and Group 4 - Metacognitive deficits (17% of sample). No significant EF phenotype group differences were found for seizure characteristics. The ANCOVAs indicated significant EF phenotype group differences on HRQOL (parent-reported Impact, Cognitive, Sleep, EF, and Mood/Behavior and child-reported Cognitive, Sleep, EF, and Mood/Behavior subscales; ps < .001) and emotional and behavioral functioning (Externalizing, Internalizing, and Behavioral Symptom Index; ps < .001), with the Global EF deficits (Group 2) and Behavioral Regulation + Working Memory deficits groups (Group 3) demonstrating the greatest level of impairment. Phenotypic variability in EF is significantly related to patient-reported outcomes. Interventions addressing EF deficits need to be individualized to a child's particular EF phenotype to achieve optimal outcomes. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.