Demoralization is common in Parkinson disease (PD) and is associated with motor dysfunction, according to a recent study. In demoralization, there is a prominent inability to cope, making it somewhat distinct from depression. Therefore, treatment approaches are also different, making it important to identify demoralization in patients with PD. Participants with PD and controls were prospectively recruited from outpatient movement disorder clinics and the community. Demoralization was defined as scoring positively on the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research, Demoralization questionnaire or Kissane Demoralization Scale score ≥24. Depression was defined as Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10. Researchers found:
- Demoralization occurred in 18.1% of 94 participants with PD and 8.1% of 86 control participants.
- These 2 groups were otherwise comparable in age, sex, education, economics, race, and marital status.
- Although demoralization was highly associated with depression, there were individuals with one and not the other.
- Among participants with PD, 7 of 19 (36.8%) depressed individuals were not demoralized, and 5 of 17 (29.4%) demoralized individuals were not depressed.
- In the overall cohort, having PD was associated with demoralization, along with younger age and not currently being married.
Koo BB, Chow CA, Shah DR, et al. Demoralization in Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2018;90(18): e1613-e1617. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000005425.
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