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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1998 Jul;53(4):P213-22.

Patients' experiences of Parkinson's disease.

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Center for Clinical and Aging Services Research, Goldman Institute on Aging, UCSF/Mount Zion Center on Aging, USA.


Patients' (n = 101) experiences of Parkinson's disease (PD) were studied through structured interviews. Oblique factor analysis produced three moderately intercorrelated clusters of items reflecting reported severity of motoric, cognitive, and psychological problems, respectively. Scales formed from the factors were correlated with demographic, disease-related, and psychosocial variables. The demographic variables were not significantly correlated with the scales or with any other variables in the set. Hoehn and Yahr staging was significantly related to scores only on the motoric severity scale. Measures of functional capacity, in contrast, were significantly associated with all three scales. Although the addition of the psychosocial variables as a set significantly increased multiple Rs for each of the three scales, the specific patterns of correlation varied from scale to scale. The findings indicate that from the viewpoint of the patient the problems created by PD were not restricted to the motoric domain. Too narrow a focus by clinicians and researchers on medical symptomatology may give insufficient recognition to the multidimensional nature of the patient's experience.

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