Inequalities in mental healthcare and lack of social support during the COVID-19 pandemic have lowered quality of life and increased overall burden of disease in people with Parkinson's (PWP). Although the pandemic has brought attention to these inequalities, they are long standing and will persist unless addressed. Lack of awareness of mental health issues is a major barrier and even when recognized disparities based on race, gender, and socioeconomic factors limit access to already scarce resources. Stigma regarding mental illness is highly prevalent and is a major barrier even when adequate care exists. Limited access to mental healthcare during the pandemic and in general increases the burden on caregivers and families. Historically, initiatives to improve mental healthcare for PWP focused on interventions designed for specialty and academic centers generally located in large metropolitan areas, which has created unintended geographic disparities in access. In order to address these issues this point of view suggests a community-based wellness model to extend the reach of mental healthcare resources for PWP.
Subject(s)Healthcare Disparities/trends , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health/trends , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Social Support/trends , Health Resources/trends , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/psychology , Parkinson Disease/epidemiology , Parkinson Disease/psychology , Social Support/psychology
BACKGROUND: The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on mental health is still being unravelled. It is important to identify which individuals are at greatest risk of worsening symptoms. This study aimed to examine changes in depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms using prospective and retrospective symptom change assessments, and to find and examine the effect of key risk factors. METHOD: Online questionnaires were administered to 34 465 individuals (aged 16 years or above) in April/May 2020 in the UK, recruited from existing cohorts or via social media. Around one-third (n = 12 718) of included participants had prior diagnoses of depression or anxiety and had completed pre-pandemic mental health assessments (between September 2018 and February 2020), allowing prospective investigation of symptom change. RESULTS: Prospective symptom analyses showed small decreases in depression (PHQ-9: -0.43 points) and anxiety [generalised anxiety disorder scale - 7 items (GAD)-7: -0.33 points] and increases in PTSD (PCL-6: 0.22 points). Conversely, retrospective symptom analyses demonstrated significant large increases (PHQ-9: 2.40; GAD-7 = 1.97), with 55% reported worsening mental health since the beginning of the pandemic on a global change rating. Across both prospective and retrospective measures of symptom change, worsening depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms were associated with prior mental health diagnoses, female gender, young age and unemployed/student status. CONCLUSIONS: We highlight the effect of prior mental health diagnoses on worsening mental health during the pandemic and confirm previously reported sociodemographic risk factors. Discrepancies between prospective and retrospective measures of changes in mental health may be related to recall bias-related underestimation of prior symptom severity.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to outline the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on movement disorder holistic care, particularly in the care of people with Parkinson disease (PWP). RECENT FINDINGS: As the pandemic unfolds, a flurry of literature was published regarding the impact of COVID-19 on people with Parkinson disease including the direct impact of infection, availability of ambulatory care, loss of community-based team care, and acceptability of telemedicine. SUMMARY: COVID-19 has impacted the care of PWP in numerous ways. Recognizing infection in PWP poses challenges. Specific long-term complications, including emerging reports of long COVID syndrome is a growing concern. Caregivers and PWP have also been impacted by COVID-19 social isolation restrictions, with radical changes to the structure of social networks and support systems globally. In a matter of weeks, the global community saw an incredible uptake in telemedicine, which brought benefits and pitfalls. As PWP adapted to virtual platforms and the changing architecture of care delivery, the pandemic amplified many preexisting inequities amongst populations and countries, exposing a new 'digital divide'.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Movement Disorders , Parkinson Disease , Telemedicine , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Movement Disorders/epidemiology , Movement Disorders/therapy , Pandemics , Parkinson Disease/epidemiology , Parkinson Disease/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Nervous System Diseases , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
Introduction: Although in some countries, palliative care (PC) still remains poorly implemented, its importance throughout the course of Parkinson's disease (PD) is increasingly being acknowledged. With an emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, growing emphasis has been placed on the palliative needs of people with Parkinson's (PwP), particularly elderly, frail, and with comorbidities.Areas covered: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses an enormous challenge on aspects of daily living in PwP and might interact negatively with a range of motor and non-motor symptoms (NMS), both directly and indirectly - as a consequence of pandemic-related social and health care restrictions. Here, the authors outline some of the motor and NMS relevant to PC, and propose a pragmatic and rapidly deployable, consensus-based PC approach for PwP during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, potentially relevant also for future pandemics.Expert opinion: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses a considerable impact on PwP and their caregivers, ranging from mental health issues to worsening of physical symptoms - both in the short- and long-term, (Long-COVID) and calls for specific, personalized PC strategies relevant in a lockdown setting globally. Validated assessment tools should be applied remotely to flag up particular motor or NMS that require special attention, both in short- and long-term.
Subject(s)COVID-19/epidemiology , Palliative Care , Pandemics , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , Humans , Minority Groups , Parkinson Disease/ethnology , Quality of Life , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Spirituality , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
Background: The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound impact on non-COVID-19 related research, including the delivery of clinical trials for patients with Parkinson's disease. Objectives: A preliminary investigation to explore the views of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, with and without experience of psychosis symptoms, and carers on the resumption of clinical research and adaptations to trials in light of COVID-19. Methods: An anonymous self-administered online survey was completed by 30 PD patients and six family members/carers via the Parkinson's UK Research Support Network to explore current perceptions on taking part in PD research and how a planned clinical trial for psychosis in PD may be adapted so participants feel safe. Results: Ninety-one percent of respondents were enthusiastic about the continuation of non-COVID-19 related research as long as certain safety measures were in place. Ninety-four percent stated that they would be happy to complete assessments virtually. However, they noted that care should be taken to ensure that this does not exclude participants, particularly those with more advanced PD who may require assistance using portable electronic devices. Regular and supportive communication from the research team was also seen as important for maintaining the psychological well-being of participants while taking part in the trial. Conclusions: In the era of COVID-19 pandemic, standard approaches will have to be modified and rapid adoption of virtual assessments will be critical for the continuation of clinical research. It is important that alongside the traditional methods, new tools are developed, and older ones validated for virtual assessments, to allow safe and comprehensive assessments vital for ongoing research in people with Parkinson's.