Category: Parkinson's Disease: Non-Motor Symptoms
Objective: The primary aim of this study was to explore the relationship between apathy levels of the PD individual and apathy levels of their caregiver. Secondary aims were to explore the apathy and grit levels of the PD sample related to adherence to a biweekly, eight-week community exercise program.
Background: Recent Parkinson’s research has focused on non-motor symptoms such as mood disorders and apathy. There is a paucity of research exploring the traits of the caregiver and the role of the non-motor symptom of apathy in PD health behaviors related to exercise adherence.
Method: This was a cross-sectional and observational research design utilizing a mixed methods approach. The population studied were 14 participants, n=7 dyads, of individuals with PD and their caregivers who attended a local support group and a biweekly eight-week community exercise group. The dependent variable of this study was program adherence. The independent variables were apathy and grit of the individuals with PD and their caregivers. All statistical analysis correlations were performed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 26. Qualitative interview data was coded by hand using line by line open coding.
Results: A significant negative correlation was found (rpb = -0.539, n= 14, p = 0.047) with apathy levels between the groups. A positive correlation which was not significant was found (rpb = 0.344, n= 14, p = 0.228) with grit levels between groups. It was found that in this sample apathy and grit had no correlation to community exercise program adherence. Qualitative data identified the themes of self-efficacy and social support when participants reflected on their own apathy and grit levels compared to their partners. Further sub-themes under the category of self-efficacy emerged: current persistence, past experience, and change in motivation over time.
Conclusion: These results support current literature on grit and exercise health behavior related to the Transtheoretical Model. Sub-themes which emerged under the theme of social support were positive partner support and social accountability. These themes fit with the Social Network Theory and emphasized the mutually beneficial nature of the PD/caregiver dyad. Further research into the social and behavioral interactions between the PD population and caregivers is warranted.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:E. Kiernan. Evaluating the Relationship between Apathy and Grit as it Relates to Participation in a Community Exercise Program in the Population with Parkinson’s Disease. [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2021; 36 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/evaluating-the-relationship-between-apathy-and-grit-as-it-relates-to-participation-in-a-community-exercise-program-in-the-population-with-parkinsons-disease/. Accessed November 29, 2023.
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