Dissociative experiences and quality of life in patients with non-epileptic attack disorder

James W Mitchell, Fizzah Ali, Andrea E Cavanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Dissociative experiences are commonly reported by patients with non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD). This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence and characteristics of dissociative experiences in patients with NEAD and assessed their association with health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Fifty-three patients diagnosed with NEAD were consecutively recruited (70.0% female, mean age=42 years, 22.0% with comorbid epilepsy) from a specialist neuropsychiatric clinic. Our sample reported high levels of dissociative experiences, with 36.7% of patients scoring ≥30 on the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES). Significant negative correlations were found between total DES scores and HRQoL, as measured by the QOLIE-31 questionnaire (r=-0.64, p<0.001). This association remained significant when accounting for symptoms of depression and anxiety, other psychiatric comorbidities, and attack frequency and severity. These findings suggest a high prevalence of dissociative experiences in this patient population, highlighting the importance of routinely screening patients for dissociative symptoms and their impact on patients' lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-12
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Anxiety/epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression/epidemiology
  • Dissociative Disorders/epidemiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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