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 and anxiety). 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
PDF Research Advocates Guide $16 Million in Parkinson’s Research Funding
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Recently, two Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) volunteers helped guide $16 million in government funding for Parkinson’s disease (PD) research.

This spring, Sam Erwin, M.S., M.A., of West Des Moines, IA, and Paul Zimmet, D.D.S., of Reston, VA – both PDF Research Advocates, people living with PD and US Army Veterans – served as consumer reviewers of research funded by the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Parkinson's Disease Foundation Announces $4 Million in Research Investments to Solve, Treat and End Parkinson's Disease
Thursday, June 9, 2016

Research Funding for Early-Career Scientists Reflects Urgent Need for Better Therapies

Adaptive Athlete Announces 300 Skydives in 24 Hours
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

“300 Imperfect Jumps” Raises Funds for Parkinson’s Disease Research

NPF Celebrates the Life and the Legend of Muhammad Ali
Saturday, June 4, 2016

MIAMI — Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Muhammad Ali, a longtime friend of the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF). Mr. Ali passed away at age 74 after being hospitalized for respiratory problems, a common complication in advanced Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Marks Tenth Year of People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Patient Advisors Drive PDF Mission to Solve, Treat and End Parkinson’s

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to mark the tenth year of its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council and welcome five new members. Created in 2006, the council is made up of people living with Parkinson’s and care partners who drive PDF’s goals of ending the disease and improving the lives of those affected by it.

Fourth Annual Celebrate Spring Boston Raises $50,000 for Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boston Area Women Inspire Fellow Young Professionals to End Parkinson’s

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis
Friday, April 29, 2016

Today, the FDA approved Nuplazid (pimavanserin) as the first drug to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis, which affects up to 40% of people with Parkinson’s.

FDA Panel Backs Approval of Pimavanserin
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Big News for Advanced Parkinson’s

Lea Dempsey, Seventh Grader from NJ, Designs Winning Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt
Thursday, March 24, 2016

A digital drawing by 13-year-old Lea Dempsey of Princeton, NJ, came out on top in the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) Seventh Annual Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt Design Contest. In PDF’s “kids only” contest, Ms. Dempsey’s design was a contender along with 20 other submissions from children ages five to 15-years-old. Her design was chosen as the winner by the general public in an online vote.

National Parkinson Foundation Campaign Promotes the Power of Exercise During Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
Monday, March 21, 2016

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) launched the #Move4PD campaign in recognition of National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month today. The campaign’s goal is to highlight the importance of exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its positive effects on the brain.

Pages

mail icon

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