Younger age (men) and depression (men and women) were the primary predictors of self-perceived stigma in Parkinson disease (PD), according to a recent study. Disease characteristics (motor and activities of daily living [ADL]) did not contribute to stigma perception. Therefore, depression is a potential treatment target for self-perceived stigma in PD. In 362 individuals with PD (157 women, 205 men), self-perceived stigma was measured by the 4-item stigma subscale of the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). Hierarchical linear modeling was used to assess predictors of stigma including demographics (age, gender) and disease characteristics: duration, stage (Hoehn & Yahr Scale), motor severity (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, UPDRS, Part 3), ADL (UPDRS Part 2), and depression (Geriatric Depression Scale). Researchers found:
- For the total sample, the full model accounted for 14% of the variance in stigma perception.
- Younger age and higher depression scores were the only significant predictors.
- This pattern was also seen for the men in the sample.
- For the women, only depression was a significant predictor.
- Depression mediated the relation between stigma and ADL.
Salazar RD, Weizenbaum E, Ellis TD, et al. Predictors of self-perceived stigma in Parkinson's disease. [Published online ahead of print October 5, 2018]. Parkinson Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.09.028.