The health, education, and social care costs of school-aged children with active epilepsy: A population-based study

Rachael M. Hunter, Colin Reilly*, Patricia Atkinson, Krishna B. Das, Christopher Gillberg, Richard F. Chin, Rod C. Scott, Brian G. R. Neville, Stephen Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ObjectiveTo provide data on the health, social care, and education costs of active childhood epilepsy and factors associated with these costs over an 18-month period in a population-based sample.

MethodsThe Children with Epilepsy in Sussex Schools (CHESS) study is a population-based study involving school-aged children (5-15years) with active epilepsy (taking one or more antiepileptic drug and/or had a seizure in the last year) in a defined geographical area in England. Clinical data were collected on 85 children (74% of eligible population) who underwent comprehensive psychological assessment. Health, education, and social care resource use was collected retrospectively over an 18-month period. Regression analysis was used to identify variables associated these with costs.

ResultsThe mean (standard deviation) 18-month cost of health care for a child with active epilepsy was 3,635 (5,339) pound, with mean education and social care cost of 11,552 pound (8,937) pound and 1,742 pound (8,158) pound, respectively, resulting in total mean costs per participant of 16,931 pound (14,764) pound. Health care costs were significantly associated with seizure frequency and etiology (all p-values

SignificanceActive childhood epilepsy has significant health, social care, and education costs. This is the first study to comprehensively document the economic impact on these sectors as well as factors associated with these costs. When caring for children with epilepsy in England, costs incurred by education and social care sectors are approximately four times the costs incurred by the health care sector. Increased costs were associated with cognitive impairment (IQ

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1064
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • Economic
  • Health
  • Social care
  • Education
  • Cognition
  • UK


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