A Pilot Study of a Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety and Depression in Patients With Parkinson Disease

J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2015 Sep;28(3):210-7. doi: 10.1177/0891988715588831. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


Anxiety and depression often remain unrecognized or inadequately treated in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective, but limited evidence supports its use for anxiety and depression in patients with PD. Sixteen patients with PD having significant anxiety and/or depressive symptoms were assigned to CBT or enhanced usual care. Assessments occurred at baseline, posttreatment, and 1-month follow-up. The CBT intervention included tools for anxiety, depression, and healthy living with PD symptoms. Individual sessions were delivered by telephone or in person, based on patient preference. Treatment was feasible with participants choosing 67% of sessions by telephone and 80% completed treatment. The between-group effect sizes for change scores from baseline to posttreatment and baseline to 1-month follow-up were large (posttreatment: d = 1.49 for depression and 1.44 for anxiety; 1-month follow-up: d = .73 for depression and 1.24 for anxiety), although only the posttreatment effect size for depression was significant. This pilot CBT program is feasible for treatment of anxiety and depression in patients with PD.

Keywords: Parkinson disease; anxiety; cognitive–behavioral therapy; depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine
  • Telephone
  • Treatment Outcome