Objective: Determine fear of progression (FoP) and its influencing factors in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients to alleviate the psychosocial distress it induces.
Background: PD patients have high FoP total score values. Yet, little is known about a possible link between FoP on the one hand and non-motor symptoms, hope, general distress, coping strategies, and psychological comorbidities on the other. It is important to quantify the impact of these variables on FoP in order to develop a specific treatment.
Method: Differences between two dichotomous PD patient groups with and without FoP were evaluated with the T-test, chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and Mann-Whitney U test. Correlation analysis and binominal logistic regression were used for the detection of FoP influencing factors. The cross-sectional study included Fear of Progression Questionnaire – Short Form (FoP-Q-SF), Herth Hope Index (HHI), Distress Thermometer (DT) and the self-developed Psychosocial Factors Questionnaire. In addition to clinical parameters like the Non-Motor Symptoms Questionnaire (NMSQ), psychiatric comorbidities were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Results: 105 Patients were included in the study, median age was 66 years, 59 % were Hoehn and Yahr stage I/II, and 63 % showed general psychological distress (DT). 27 % of patients were above threshold in FoP-Q-SF. These patients showed significantly more depression (HADS-D), more anxiety (HADS-A), and more need for coping support than those below threshold. FoP-Q-SF scores correlated positively with the number of non-motor symptoms (r= .447, p<.001 ), and negatively with movement/mobility problems (r= -.354, p<.001 ). Hope, psychotherapeutic treatment, and practical problems were identified as factors influencing FoP.
Conclusion: FoP is a common phenomenon in PD patients and should be assessed routinely in clinical practice – in particular in patients with significant non-motor symptoms burden. Importantly, FoP was less severe in patients with movement/mobility problems, indicating that FoP needs to be addressed separately and will not be resolved by improving motor symptoms alone.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:S. Mayer, E. Tekampe, A. Frank, T. Feige, H. Reichmann, B. Falkenburger. The fear of progression of Parkinson’s Disease [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2021; 36 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/the-fear-of-progression-of-parkinsons-disease/. Accessed December 1, 2023.
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