Sense of coherence is a sensitive measure for changes in subjects with Parkinson's disease during 1 year

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Abstract

To investigate subjective and objective changes in function in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) home visits with interviews were performed with a 1-year interval. Depressive symptoms were rated with the Geriatric Depression Scale, subjective health with the generic SF-36 scale and the disease-specific PDQ-8 scale; objective changes were assessed according to the Hoehn and Yahr scale; insomnia was rated with an eight-item questionnaire and the sense of coherence (SOC) was determined with the short version of that scale. A total of 91 subjects (39 women and 52 men with a mean age of 70 years) living at home, most of them moderately to severely disabled, were interviewed. Time since diagnosis was <2 years for 13%, 2–10 years for 55%, and >10 years for 32%. During the studied year the subjects' status declined significantly as shown by changes in both the PDQ-8 and the Hoehn and Yahr scales. The most striking finding was a pronounced decrease in the SOC scale (p < 0.0001). This indicates that the subjects' ability to handle stress-related problems secondary to the progress of disease might have decreased. In order to optimize nursing care for subjects with PD, in addition to medical treatment, an assessment of the SOC could aid nursing staff in evaluating subjects' ability to handle their life situation.

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