Results: COVID-19 and Parkinson’s

Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on the health and day-to-day activities of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). A Parkinson’s Foundation survey titled The Impact of COVID-19 and Social Distancing on People with Parkinson’s Disease: A Survey Study, aimed to understand the impact of public health policies on the Parkinson’s community.

Figure description: Participant representation by COVID-19 per capita infections as of May 27, 2020. Darker states indicate higher per capita infections of COVID-19. Grey dots reflect survey participant locations. Black dots reflect the location of a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.  


About the Study

This study was conducted in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. Five people with Parkinson’s and one care partner reviewed this study. 

Key Highlights

  • Only 1% of people with PD reported a COVID-19 diagnosis by a health provider, of which 0.3% had this diagnosis confirmed by testing.
  • Telehealth use increased by 54% and was most often used for doctor’s appointments and mental health therapy. 
    • Individuals with higher income and education were more likely to use telehealth services. 
  • About half of respondents shared that they would prefer to continue using telehealth after the COVID-19 outbreak had ended.
    • Having received support or instruction for telehealth, having a care partner or friend to help with virtual appointments and having used telehealth before were associated with continued use after the pandemic.
  • Most respondents (75%) had participated in an activity that had transitioned to an online format, including exercise and wellness classes, suppo  rt groups, educational events and religious services.
  • This study took place between May and June 2020.

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