Coping with Parkinson's disease and refractory epilepsy. A comparative study

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1999 Aug;187(8):503-8. doi: 10.1097/00005053-199908000-00007.


Coping strategies and their correlations with demographic and illness related data, depression, locus of control, and psychosocial adaptation were investigated in 45 patients with Parkinson's disease and 40 patients with intractable epilepsy. Three standardized self-report questionnaires were applied: the Freiburg Questionnaire of Coping with Illness (FKV), the von Zerssen Depression Scale (D-S), and the IPC-questionnaire measuring generalized locus of control beliefs. The Social Interview Schedule (SIS), a semi-structured interview, was used to measure psychosocial adaptation. Active, problem-focused and compliance strategies were predominantly used and regarded as most helpful in both groups of patients. Hence, Parkinson and epilepsy patients used similar coping patterns despite the strong dissimilarities of symptoms and illness-associated burdens. The level of depression was not significantly different in both groups and in the range of other chronic somatic diseases. The use of coping patterns, which are regarded as maladaptive, was correlated with distinct depression and a poor psychosocial adaption. In conclusion, no indications for illness-specific coping patterns were found in patients with Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. In both groups, certain coping strategies are associated with good and others with poor psychosocial adjustment. These results indicate the possibility of improving psychosocial adjustment by supporting effective strategies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Comorbidity
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires