Call Our HELPLINE: 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636)

Parkinson's Foundation Study Finds Gender Disparities in Caregiving, with Women at a Disadvantage

Largest Clinical Study Tracking Parkinson’s Patients Over Time Shows Women with Parkinson’s Have Fewer Caregiving Resources than Men with Parkinson’s

NEW YORK & MIAMI — A Parkinson’s Foundation study published in the December 1, 2017 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, reveals that women with Parkinson’s disease have significantly less access to caregiving support than men with the disease. Specifically, the study – the largest clinical study tracking Parkinson’s patients over time – shows that women with Parkinson’s tend to lack much-needed support from informal caregivers such as spouses, family members and paid health aides.

“This caregiver study uses data from our Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s ever, and shows that women are less likely to list their spouse as their care partner and twice as likely as men to have a paid caregiver,” said Peter Schmidt, Ph.D., Chief Research and Clinical Officer for the Parkinson’s Foundation and an author on the study. “As Parkinson’s advances, care becomes complex and having a care partner, whether a family member or a paid health aide, becomes an important part of optimal management of the disease.”

Researchers evaluated annual data on approximately 7,000 participants receiving care at 21 Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence across four countries as part of the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. According to the study, men more frequently reported having regular caregivers and more frequently had their caregivers accompany them to their visits. 20% of women reported having no care partner at all. 84% of men identified a spouse as the primary caregiver compared to only 67% of women. Furthermore, caregivers of women with Parkinson’s reported lower strain than those of men.

Lead study author Nabila Dahodwala, M.D., MS, from the University of Pennsylvania, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, says these findings are significant because informal care is a vital component of the care that people with Parkinson’s receive. Understanding how to best provide this day-to-day care, especially to women, will help improve the quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s.

“The Parkinson’s Foundation recently established the Women and PD Initiative to address significant gender differences in the experience of Parkinson’s,” said John L. Lehr, Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “With this Parkinson’s Foundation-supported study, we are shedding light on and finding solutions for women-specific issues to help improve the health and wellbeing of women living with Parkinson’s.”

The goal of the Parkinson's Outcomes Project is to continue to identify best care practices for Parkinson's that could help get better care to more people affected by the disease. For more information about the study, visit www.parkinson.org/outcomes.

About the Parkinson’s Foundation
The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. For more information, visit www.parkinson.org or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease
Affecting an estimated one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression A mood disorder whose symptoms can include a persistent sad or empty mood, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, irritability and loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. and anxiety A feeling of nervousness, worried thoughts and physical distress.). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

Monday, December 4, 2017
Parkinson’s Foundation Receives Award to Develop National Recommendations to Improve Care for Women with Parkinson’s
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

NEW YORK CITY & MIAMI — The Parkinson's Foundationhas received a $250,000 award to develop new patient-centered recommendations to improve the health of women living with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s Foundation Invests $500,000 in Community-Driven Clinical Research To Ease Cognition, Sleep and Fatigue in Parkinson’s
Monday, February 27, 2017

Five New Awards Address Unmet Needs

New York, NY and Miami, FL — The Parkinson’s Foundation has awarded $500,000 for translational research grants to address critical unmet needs in Parkinson’s disease.  The investments jumpstart practical solutions to ease difficulties related to cognition, fatigue and sleep, all of which are debilitating yet under-recognized symptoms in Parkinson’s.

The Parkinson's Foundation’s Moving Day® Walks Fund Local Parkinson’s Programs in 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017

$13.7 million dollars raised over five years
 

Young New Yorkers for the Fight Against Parkinson’s Committee and the Parkinson’s Foundation Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Celebrate Spring New York Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017

The 10th Anniversary of Celebrate Spring New York will take place on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at Lavo located at 39 East 58th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.  The event is hosted by the Young New Yorkers for the Fight Against Parkinson’s and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), a division of the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Parkinson’s Foundation Designates NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, Rush University Medical Centers as Parkinson’s Care ‘Centers of Excellence’
Monday, February 6, 2017

As foundation continues to invest in programs to improve the lives of Parkinson’s patients, designation of new Centers of Excellence further expand expert care network
 

Local Residents to Host Scotch & Sangria for Parkinson’s Research at Sear House in Closter, NJ, on Thursday, March 2
Monday, January 30, 2017

Proceeds From Fourth Annual Helping Hours Event Benefit Parkinson’s Foundation

Parkinson's Foundation Appoints John L. Lehr as Chief Executive Officer
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

 Lehr Charged with Advancing Foundation’s Mission to Accelerate the Science and Care for Parkinson’s Disease
 

The National Parkinson Foundation Announces Initiative to Further Define Stages of Parkinson’s Disease
Monday, January 9, 2017

Currently, there is no one definition of what it means to have advanced Parkinson’s disease
 

Initiative will support the creation of a tool to help physicians assess changes in the disease
 

Apply to the Parkinson’s Foundation People with Parkinson's Advisory Council by Monday, December 19
Monday, November 21, 2016

Are you interested in helping the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) work toward a world without Parkinson’s? Apply to the People with Parkinson's Advisory Council by Monday, December 19.

In August, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the National Parkinson Foundation merged to form the Parkinson’s Foundation. We are seeking advisors from the community to help us kick off a new and exciting era in the Parkinson’s community.

The Parkinson’s Foundation Celebrates the Life of Janet Reno
Monday, November 7, 2016

MIAMI and NEW YORK — Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Janet Reno, a longtime friend of the Parkinson’s Foundation. Ms. Reno passed away at age 78 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. She was diagnosed in 1995, while still serving as the first female Attorney General of the United States. Despite her diagnosis, Ms. Reno continued in this role until 2000.

Pages

mail icon

Subscribe here to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.