Many people suffering from Parkinson’s disease often have other psychiatric illnesses. Unfortunately, in many cases, many of those comorbid conditions are not treated.
Lakkhina Troeung, PhD, and colleagues from the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, sought to find out just how many adults with PD actively sought care for cormorbid mental conditions. The results, published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, showed it was quite low.
Of 327 adults examined in a cross-sectional survey analyzing mental health service utilization as well as likelihood of seeking mental health treatment, only 8% of participants were engaged in mental health treatment, even though many of the participants had high levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Further, the lifetime use rate for mental health services was a relatively low 24%.
Logistic regression analysis showed that, next to prior treatment experience (odds ratio=3.28, 95% CI: 1.46-7.35), having had a discussion about psychological symptoms with a neurologist was the next most important predictor, and tripled the likelihood of an individual being willing to seek future treatment, (OR=3.01, 95% CI: 1.72-5.27).
“This study highlights the integral role of the PD neurologist in facilitating awareness and treatment of mental health problems for individuals with PD,” the researchers concluded.
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Comorbid psychiatric complications are a common occurrence in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the majority of people with PD experiencing mental health problems do not receive any professional treatment.
Only 8% of participants were currently engaged in mental health treatment despite elevated levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. This study highlights the integral role of the PD neurologist in facilitating awareness and treatment of mental health problems for individuals with PD.