UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Caregivers; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Parkinson Disease; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Questionnaires; Stress, Psychological


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


This study examined the frequency and degree of caregiver burden in persons with parkinsonism, a group of disorders with four primary symptoms that include tremor, rigidity, postural instability, and bradykinesia. We assessed associations between perceived caregiver burden and physical, cognitive, and functional impairments using well-established tools for persons with parkinsonism. The 49 individuals with parkinsonism ranged in age from 61 to 87 (mean = 75), while their caregivers (N = 49) ranged in age from 48 to 83 (mean = 70). The caregivers were predominantly either wives (82%) or daughters (6%), with other family members, friends, and/or neighbors (12%) making up the rest. The caregivers reported a relatively high ability for coping (mean scores = 4.6/6). Caregiver burden was significantly negatively associated with activities of daily living and motoric difficulties as measured on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Likewise, caregiver burden was negatively associated with caregiver self-reported sleep and coping ability. Results did not demonstrate an association on the UPDRS among mentation, behavior, and mood. We found a significant negative correlation for mentation between the Folstein Mini-Mental Status Examination and caregiver burden measures; however, we did not find this association with the Dementia Rating Scale-2. Patient's self-reported pain and caregiver burden were not associated.


J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006 Jul-Aug;43(4):499-508. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of rehabilitation research and development


At the time of publication, Rashelle Hayes (Rashelle Brown) was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID