Associations between Infant and Parent Characteristics and Measures of Family Well-Being in Neonates with Seizures: A Cohort Study

Linda S. Franck, Renée A. Shellhaas, Monica Lemmon, Julie Sturza, Janet S. Soul, Taeun Chang, Courtney J. Wusthoff, Catherine J. Chu, Shavonne L. Massey, Nicholas S. Abend, Cameron Thomas, Elizabeth E. Rogers, Charles E. McCulloch, Katie Grant, Lisa Grossbauer, Kamil Pawlowski, Hannah C. Glass, Ronnie Guillet, Marty Barnes, Tammy TsuchidaAdam Numis, M. Roberta Cilio, Sonia L. Bonifacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize and determine risk factors for key dimensions of well-being at hospital discharge in families of neonates with acute symptomatic seizures. Study design: This prospective, observational cohort study enrolled 144 parent-infant dyads among neonates with acute symptomatic seizures from 9 pediatric hospitals in the Neonatal Seizure Registry. One parent per family completed a discharge survey, which included measures of anxiety and depression, health-related quality of life, and impact on the family. Multivariable regression analyses adjusted for site were constructed to examine parent and infant characteristics associated with well-being. Results: At discharge, 54% of parents reported symptoms of anxiety and 32% reported symptoms of depression. Parents of infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy reported more depression and worse quality of life than parents of infants with other seizure etiologies. Parental quality of life was also lower with greater infant age at discharge. A higher level of maternal education was associated with greater impact on the family. All these differences were medium to large effect sizes, ranging from 0.52 to 0.78. Conclusions: Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common in parents of infants with neonatal seizures, and several parent and infant characteristics are associated with poorer parental quality of life and family well-being. These findings are a call to action to improve mental health screening and services for parents of infants with neonatal seizures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-71.e4
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • family impact
  • hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • perinatal ischemic stroke
  • quality of life


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