Few studies exist in the literature investigating the impact of idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (IPD) on swallow-related quality of life. We therefore aimed in this project to: (1) evaluate swallow-specific quality of life in IPD; (2) delineate potential relationships between IPD duration and severity with swallow-specific quality of life; (3) investigate relationships between swallow-specific quality of life and general health-related quality of life; and (4) investigate relationships between swallow-specific quality of life and depression. Thirty-six patients diagnosed with IPD with and without dysphagia filled out self-report assessments of the SWAL-QOL, Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ-39), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). A series of Mann Whitney U tests were performed between non-dysphagic and dysphagic groups for the total SWAL-QOL score and the 10 SWAL-QOL domains. Spearman's Rho correlation analyses were performed between the SWAL-QOL and (1) PDQ-39; (2) Hoehn and Yahr stage; (3) PD disease duration; (4) UPDRS "on" score; and (5) the BDI. The dysphagia swallowing group reported significant reductions compared to the non-dysphagic group for the total SWAL-QOL score (P = 0.02), mental health domain score (P = 0.002) and social domain score (P = 0.002). No relationships existed between swallow-specific quality of life and disease duration or severity. Significant relationships existed between swallow-specific quality of life and general health-related quality of life (r(s) =-0.56, P = 0.000) and depression (r(s) = -0.48, P = 0.003). These exploratory data highlight the psychosocial sequelae that swallowing impairment can have in those with IPD and suggest a possible association between swallowing, social function, and depression.
2009 Movement Disorder Society.