Author(s): Steinhoff BJ, Neusss K, Thegeder H, Reimers CD
Abstract Share this page
Abstract PURPOSE: To assess social and physical activity by means of a controlled study based on a questionnaire and standardized clinical tests of physical fitness. METHODS: In this controlled study, we assessed several issues of social and physical activity in 136 patients with epilepsy and 145 controls by using a questionnaire. In addition, we investigated physical fitness based on physical parameters such as body mass index and body composition and standardized tests of aerobic and muscle strength endurance and physical flexibility in 35 adult patients and 36 healthy controls. RESULTS: Leisure time habits both at home and outside the home were mainly similar except for visits of friends, which were significantly reduced in patients. Although the general attitude toward sports and physical activity was positive in both groups, and although controls judged sports to be dangerous significantly more often (p = 0.007), controls participated in regular sports significantly more frequently (p = 0.005). The clinical study demonstrated a lack of physical fitness, as suggested by the questionnaire data. Statistical analysis demonstrated significant differences of aerobic endurance (p < 0.001), muscle strength endurance (p < 0.001), and physical flexibility (p < 0.001) in favor of the control subjects. The body mass index was significantly higher in patients (p = 0.03), whereas the body composition revealed a higher body fat ratio only in female patients (p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that patients with epilepsy suffer from a considerable lack of physical fitness that might have an important impact on their general health and quality of life. In addition to overprotection and reduced mobility, the questionnaire revealed insufficient knowledge among health professionals and sport instructors as a major factor contributing to these results.
This article was published in Epilepsia
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy