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The patients’ perspective: Results of a survey assessing knowledge about and attitudes toward depression in PD

Authors Hegeman R, LaDonna KA, Hartman R, Podgorski C, Kurlan R

Published 15 January 2008 Volume 2007:3(6) Pages 903—906


Irene Hegeman Richard1, Kori A LaDonna1, Rosanne Hartman2, Carol Podgorski1, Roger Kurlan1, SAD-PD Study Group3

1University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA; 2Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, USA; 3Please see Appendix for members of the SAD-PD Study Group

Abstract: We report results of a survey assessing patients’ knowledge about and attitudes towards depression in Parkinson’s disease (PD). 345 patients from 8 tertiary care centers responded (43% response rate). Overall, patients were relatively knowledgeable about depression and its occurrence in PD. However, many patients believed that depression is a normal reaction to the illness. While many respondents would be reluctant to initiate a discussion of depression during a clinical evaluation, most would feel comfortable talking about depression with their physician if he or she asked them questions about their mood. Based on the results of this survey, we recommend the following approach for physicians: (1) inform PD patients that, although a frequent occurrence, depression need not be accepted as a “normal reaction” to PD; and (2) routinely inquire about depressive symptoms rather than waiting for the patient to spontaneously report them.

Keywords: depression, Parkinson’s disease, survey

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