Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Provision of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) information among Malaysian parents of children with epilepsy

Journal title
Epilepsy & behavior : E&B
Publication year
Fong, C. Y.; Lim, W. K.; Kong, A. N.; Lua, P. L.; Ong, L. C.

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is an important cause of mortality in epilepsy. To date, there is only one published UK study evaluating information provision of SUDEP among parents of children with epilepsy (CWE), and there are no studies published from Asia. Although SUDEP information provision is recommended among parents of CWE, it is uncertain if these recommendations are applicable to Asian countries due to the different cultural attitude towards epilepsy. Our prospective cohort study consisted of multiethnic parents of children with epilepsy (CWE) seen in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia. Information on SUDEP was delivered to parents using an epilepsy educational software program. Participants completed a set of standardized questionnaire and Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-Short Form (DASS-21) immediately after and retested 3-6months after the SUDEP information provision. A total of 127 parents (84 mothers) participated in the study. The CWE consisted of 3 ethnic groups (38% Malay, 30% Chinese, 32% Indian) with a mean age of 9.6years. Majority (70.9%) felt positive after SUDEP information provision, 90.6% wanted SUDEP discussion for themselves with 70.1% wanted SUDEP discussion with their child, and a lower proportion (58.3%) would discuss SUDEP with their child. None of the participants reported increased symptoms of depression, stress or anxiety attributed to SUDEP information provision. Most parents took steps to reduce SUDEP risk, and most parents did not report an impact on their own functioning. However, there was an increase in parental report over time of impact on their child’s functioning following SUDEP information (P<0.05). In conclusion, most Malaysian parents of CWE wanted SUDEP information. Following SUDEP information disclosure, majority did not report negative emotions; however, an increase in parents over time reported an impact on their child. Our findings reiterate that provision of SUDEP information should form part of care of CWE and parents should receive ongoing support as they undergo a period of parenting adjustment when dealing with the information provided.

Research abstracts