Parkinson Disease Affects Quality of Life Among Family Members, Study Finds

October 26, 2019
Alison Rodriguez
Alison Rodriguez

Parkinson disease significantly impacts an individual’s quality of life (QoL); however, many spouses and family’s QoL and finances are also affected through increased healthcare and privately borne costs as the condition progresses, according to a recent study.

Parkinson disease significantly impacts an individual’s quality of life (QoL); however, many spouses and family’s QoL and finances are also affected through increased healthcare and privately borne costs as the condition progresses, according to a recent study published in Patient Related Outcome Measures.

The researchers conducted a literature review of electronic databases in the United Kingdon by searching for Parkinson-related terms plus condition impact, such as financial, employment, housing, and healthcare costs. The researchers then examined the instruments used to measure patient-related outcomes for their relevancy.

The search results identified 2143 papers and 79 of them were shortlisted through title and abstract screenings. Of the 79 papers, 38 qualified for the inclusion and quality criteria of the review. The 4 main themes that were the focus of the extracted data included:

  • QoL and wellbeing of people with Parkinson (PwP)
  • QoL and wellbeing of caregivers and family members
  • Employment and living conditions
  • Direct and indirect health care societal cost

“Investigating health and the consequences of ill health is complex and so is about the impact on the QoL and wellness. Measurement of health and wellness has to take into account individual perceptions, each of which will differ according to cultural understanding and societal contexts, including personal expectations of subjective wellbeing eg, happiness, plus financial, and environmental stability,” explained the authors.

The review highlighted that many family members and spouses accept the care responsibilities of their family member with Parkinson and therefore, their QoL and finances were also affected. The study noted that caregivers had a comorbidity rate of nearly 5 times greater when compared to the age-matched population, especially where PwP they lived with had psychiatric symptoms.

“Whilst evidence is limited in assessing income loss from changes in employment to the households of PwP, as well as out-of-pocket expenditure incurred in accessing both health and social care services, it is shown that family members volunteer time, alter employment status and utilize their own resources, developing stress and health problems alongside the deterioration of the person they care for, thus accentuating the total societal costs,” concluded the authors.