Background: Depressive symptoms are common in Parkinson's disease (PD); however, it is unclear whether there are specific depressive symptom patterns in patients with PD and comorbid depression (dPD). Objective: The goal of this study is to examine the frequency and correlates of specific depressive symptoms in PD. Method: A sample of 158 individuals with PD completed the self-rated Harvard Department of Psychiatry/National Depression Screening Day Scale (HANDS). By multiple-regression analysis, the authors examined the association between HANDS total and subscale scores and various demographic variables. Results: The frequency of depression was 37% (N=58). Patients with a history of depression before PD had significantly more serious depression than those who had no such history. Of those who were more depressed, the most common symptoms of depression endorsed were low energy, difficulty with concentration/making decisions, feeling blue, feeling hopeless, and having poor sleep. Conclusion: There is a relatively high prevalence of dPD. Items on the HANDS that discriminated best between depressed and nondepressed subjects with PD included feeling blue, feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, lack of interest, and self-blame. It remains to be defined whether dPD should be understood primarily as a psychological reaction to a physical disability or perceived impending one, or as a direct expression of the neuropathology of PD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health