Original Research

Assessing the prevalence of psychotic symptoms in epileptic patients at a tertiary clinic

Michelle M. Hungwe, Karishma Lowton
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 29 | a2062 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v29i0.2062 | © 2023 Michelle M. Hungwe, Karishma Lowton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 February 2023 | Published: 11 September 2023

About the author(s)

Michelle M. Hungwe, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Karishma Lowton, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The International League against Epilepsy (ILAE) defines epilepsy as a brain disorder characterised by an enduring risk to generate seizures with neurobiological, cognitive, psychological and social consequences. Psychotic disorders in epilepsy are a serious psychiatric complication affecting the prognosis, morbidity and mortality of patients. There is a paucity in literature with regard to the prevalence of psychotic symptoms in epileptic patients in low- to middle-income countries.

Aim: This study aimed to look at the prevalence of psychotic symptoms in epileptic patients at an outpatient clinic using the prodromal questionnaire 16 (PQ-16).

Setting: The study was conducted at the epilepsy clinic at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital (CMJAH), a tertiary hospital located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Method: The PQ-16 was distributed to patients at the epilepsy clinic at CMJAH.

Results: The study consisted of 121 participants. The prevalence of patients found to be at high risk of psychosis (i.e., PQ-16 score > 6) was 61.2% (95% lower confidence interval (LCI): 0.53, upper confidence interval (UCI): 0.70). None of the demographic variables showed significant associations in the percentage of patients found to be at high risk. No association was found between any antiepileptic drug and high risk of psychosis.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of psychotic like experiences found suggests it is imperative to screen for psychotic disorders in epileptic patients and if required to involve neuropsychiatrists in their management.

Contribution: This study highlights the importance of assessing psychotic symptoms in epileptic patients and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in managing these complex patients.


Keywords

prevalence; psychosis; psychotic like experiences; epilepsy; ultra high risk for psychosis; prodromal questionnaire 16.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1123
Total article views: 759


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.