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The joint impact of symptom deterioration and social factors on wellbeing for people with Parkinson's during the covid-19 pandemic in the UK

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Article number120768
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/09/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/08/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have had significant consequences for those living with chronic conditions such as Parkinson's. The restrictions in access to healthcare as well as reductions in social care, family support and community activities have led to decreases in physical and mental wellbeing. However, not everyone has been equally affected and the predictors of distress are currently being investigated worldwide. Here we use data from a UK survey conducted by the charity Parkinson's UK during Summer 2021 to look at physical and social predictors of wellbeing of people with Parkinson's. Specifically, we aimed to look at the combined effects of worsening physical symptoms, social isolation and loneliness on psychological wellbeing when controlling for age, gender and disease duration. The data from 612 participants were analysed using multiple regression analyses and showed that worsened physical symptoms, loneliness and social isolation each independently predicted wellbeing thus showing the impact of both physical symptoms and social factors. Improved access to healthcare and physical activity is needed to help improve physical health. However, addressing the social needs of people with Parkinson's is also important, and not only during a pandemic. Additional interventions may be needed to reduce social isolation and loneliness as there may be added barriers for people with Parkinson's which need to be considered.