A systematic review of the contribution of qualitative research to the study of quality of life in children and adolescents with epilepsy.
McEwan MJ., Espie CA., Metcalfe J.
A sizeable literature focusing on QOL in children and adolescents with epilepsy has been produced over the last few years. However, relatively little emphasis has been placed on defining these issues from direct exploration of children's and adolescents' views. Qualitative methodologies are proposed in this review as an appropriate means of eliciting such information. This review systematically investigated the extent to which studies of QOL in children and adolescents with epilepsy have used recognised qualitative methodology. Articles for inclusion were identified by searching the term 'epilepsy', combined with 'adolescent(s) and/or child(ren)' and 'psychosocial and/or quality of life'. Selected articles were reviewed and rated using CASP Guidelines for qualitative research by two independent raters. Seventeen studies were retrieved through literature search. Of these six used some form of qualitative methodology either individually or combined with quantitative methods. However, only one study met quality criteria for selection in this systematic review. A summary of both selected and excluded studies is presented and methodological limitations discussed. Recommendations for appropriate methodology for investigation of QOL issues in children and adolescents are given.