Dysfunctional schema modes as determinants of psychiatric comorbidities: A study in a cohort of people with epilepsy

Document Type





Introduction and aims: Symptomatology of epilepsy and its' associated alteration in brain processes, stigma of experiencing seizures, and adverse sequelae of anti-epileptics have been demonstrated to impact behaviour and exacerbate psychopathology. This study examines the role of dysfunctional schema modes in People with Epilepsy (PWE) and their association with psychiatric symptoms.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 108 PWE treated with anti-epileptics for at least one year and with no history or mental disorder or psycho-active substance use. Clinical symptoms were measured utilising the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) with schema modes measured utilising the Schema Mode Inventory (SMI).
Results: Maladaptive coping and child schema modes were significantly higher in individuals from lower socio-economic status group (p < 0.01), with several maladaptive schema modes more prevalent in males. Hostility symptoms were increased in individuals from lower socio-economic classes and were more prevalent early in disease course. Several psychological symptoms including somatisation, interpersonal, obsession, depression, paranoia, hostility, phobia, anxiety, and psychoticism, were predicted by various maladaptive schema modes (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: This study highlights the impact of maladaptive schemas, suggesting that PWE might benefit from the introduction of appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions such as schema-focused therapy, particularly if from lower socio-economic classes or in the early stages of their disease course.


Volume and issue are not provided by the author/publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine