Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Kathy Nixon Speechley


Children with epilepsy are less physically and socially active than their peers. The objective is to explore whether parents represent a barrier to children’s activity, by examining associations between child and family factors and parents’ perceptions of epilepsy-related activity restrictions. Data were from the Health Related Quality of Life in Children with Epilepsy Study, a longitudinal study of children 4-12 years old with new-onset epilepsy. Parents reported on activity restrictions and family factors and neurologists reported on epilepsy-related characteristics at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. Linear mixed models were used to model relationships among child and family factors and parents’ perceptions of activity restrictions. Parents’ response rate was 82%. There was significant non-linear improvement in activity restriction over time. Significant child factors suggest that perceptions are largely influenced by seizure-related risks. Significant family factors suggest an opportunity through parental education to reduce unnecessary activity restrictions in children with epilepsy.