Purpose: Analyze determinates of employment changes from before to 2 years after surgery in refractory focal epilepsy patients. Methods: Preoperative employment was prospectively assessed in 375 adults with refractory epilepsy. Two-year postsurgical employment status was obtained for 299; factors potentially associated with employment status change among subgroups unemployed and employed at baseline were analyzed. Results: Presurgical employment status was full-time (n = 148, 39.5%), part-time (n = 26, 6.9%), disabled and unemployed (n = 100, 26.7%), unemployed (n = 44, 11.7%), and other (n = 57, 15.2%). Those with and without 2-year follow-up did not differ on baseline characteristics (all p > 0.10). Two years after surgery, 42.8% were employed full-time and 12.4%, part-time. Among those unemployed before surgery, better seizure outcome was associated with gaining employment at 2 years (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Net employment gains were modest 2 years after surgery and higher with better seizure outcomes, reinforcing the need for optimizing surgical candidate selection, long-term follow-up studies, and postsurgical vocational rehabilitation.
- Epilepsy surgery