Caregiver distress associated with neuropsychiatric problems in patients with early Parkinson's disease: the Norwegian ParkWest study

Acta Neurol Scand. 2010 Dec;122(6):418-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2010.01332.x.


Objectives: We investigated caregiver distress associated with neuropsychiatric problems in patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease (PD).

Materials and methods: Persons who were next of kins of 198 patients and 168 healthy individuals completed the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale.

Results: Even at the time of diagnosis PD has a considerable impact on the next of kins' experience of distress. Nearly 50% reported distress, significantly more than in the control group, and more than one-quarter reported moderate severe distress. Except the more rarely reported neuropsychiatric symptoms, apathy was the symptom that most frequently caused caregiver distress in PD patient's next of kin (94.5%), followed by depression (88.2%), anxiety (86.2%) and irritability (83.3%).

Conclusions: The study underlines the importance of focusing on neuropsychiatric aspects in patients and associated caregiver distress even in early PD management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / nursing*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index