Multidisciplinary teams caring for patients with essential tremor (ET) should look beyond simple clinical ET indicators, according to a recent study that suggests they should be aware of patient experiences and perceptions of “close others” (COs) of psychological and overall suffering. In this study, 50 ET patients and 50 COs, identified by patients “as someone who knows you well and sees you often” and who can “provide a different perspective on your well-being,” reported their own depressive symptoms, daily stress, and perceptions of patient psychological suffering and patient overall suffering with validated scales. ET patients’ tremor severity, duration, disability, cognition, and number of medications were also assessed. Researchers found:
- ET patients reported levels of psychological suffering within the range documented in arthritis and dementia patients from previous studies, and COs perceived significantly more psychological suffering in patients than patients reported themselves.
- Regression models, controlling for tremor severity, duration, and disability, revealed that patients’ greater psychological suffering was associated with greater patient depression.
- The greater perceptions of COs of patient psychological and overall suffering were associated with greater CO depression and daily stress.
Monin JK, Gutierrez, Kellner S, et al. Psychological suffering in essential tremor: A study of patients and those who are close to them. [Published online ahead of print December 18, 2017]. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. doi:10.7916/D8Q53WF0.
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