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.
Copyright © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Munksgaard.