Summary

Objective

Proper assessment and early identification of depressive symptoms are essential to initiate treatment and minimize the risk for poor outcomes in youth with epilepsy (YWE). The current study examined the predictive utility of the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory-Epilepsy for Youth (NDDI-E-Y) and the Neuro-QOL Depression Short Form (Neuro-QOL SF) in explaining variance in overall depressive symptoms and specific symptom clusters on the gold standard Children’s Depression Inventory-2 (CDI-2).

Methods

Cross-sectional study examining 99 YWE (female 68, mean age 14.7 years) during a routine epilepsy visit, who completed self-report measures of depressive symptoms, including the NDDI-E-Y, CDI-2, and the Neuro-QOL SF. Caregivers completed a measure of seizure severity. All sociodemographic and medical information was evaluated through electronic medical record review.

Results

After accounting for seizure and demographic variables, the NDDI-E-Y accounted for 45% of the variance in the CDI-2 Total score and the CDI-2 Ineffectiveness subscale. Furthermore, the NDDI-E-Y predicted CDI-2 Total scores and subscales similarly, with the exception of explaining significantly more variance in the CDI-2 Ineffectiveness subscale compared to the Negative Mood subscale. The NDDI-E-Y explained greater variance compared to Neuro-QOL SF across the Total (48% vs. 37%) and all CDI-2 subscale scores; however, the NDDI-E-Y emerged as a stronger predictor of only CDI-2 Ineffectiveness. Both the NDDI-E-Y and Neuro-QOL SF accounted for the lowest amount of variance in CDI-2 Negative Mood. Sensitivity was poor for the Neuro-QOL SF in predicting high versus low CDI-2 scores.

Significance

The NDDI-E-Y has strong psychometrics and can be easily integrated into routine epilepsy care for quick, brief screening of depressive symptoms in YWE.

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