Stigma as a key determinant of health-related quality of life in Parkinson’s disease

Hui Ing Ma, Marie Saint-Hilaire, Cathi A. Thomas, Linda Tickle-Degnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may experience stigma due to their visible features of movement and communication difficulties. This paper aimed to examine the role of experienced stigma in health-related quality of life (QOL), after controlling for personal and clinical characteristics. Methods: This is a preliminary analysis of a subset of baseline data from the Social Self-Management of Parkinson’s Disease Study (SocM-PD), an ongoing 3-year prospective cohort study. Seventy-three people with PD (Mage = 65.72, 29 women) participated in this study. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to determine the role of stigma in QOL, after controlling for gender, disease severity, depression, and motor difficulties of daily living. Results: Significant correlations were found between QOL with gender (r = .26), disease severity (r = .38), depression (r = .65), motor difficulties of daily living (r = .71), and stigma (r = .83). After controlling for the significant covariates, stigma made a significant and unique contribution to the explanation of QOL by 13.7 % (p < 0.001). A final hierarchical multiple regression with stigma and the 4 covariates revealed an overall model that explained 77.8 % of the total variance of QOL (F [5, 63] = 48.79, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Experienced stigma appears to be a key determinant of QOL in people with PD. The results suggest the importance of further understanding stigma in PD to develop possible intervention strategies. Future work is also needed to verify the results with a larger and longitudinal dataset of the SocM-PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3037-3045
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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