Awareness of cognitive abilities in people with Parkinson's disease

McKie, Kaye (2015) Awareness of cognitive abilities in people with Parkinson's disease. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Background: ‘Anosognosia’, or unawareness of ones deficits, is an important influence on behavioural functioning as it underpins the ability to recognise our limits. Anosognosia is common in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although several studies have examined PD patient’s level of unawareness of motor symptoms there has been no research into PD patient’s unawareness of cognitive abilities. Aims: This study aimed to explore PD patient’s unawareness of their cognitive abilities in comparison to a healthy control group. We also explored differences in level of unawareness of cognitive abilities versus motor abilities. Finally, we explored the relationship between level of unawareness of cognitive abilities and caregiver burden. Methods: 21 PD participants and 21 control participants, with similar demographic characteristics, participated in this study. All participants predicted their performance based on a normal distribution curve, prior to completing the RBANS assessment. Following task completion, participants were then asked to estimate their actual performance. This resulted in a pre and post discrepancy score of the differences between self-rated and actual performances. The PD participants completed additional measures, including the Awareness Questionnaire and MDS-UPDRS-Part 3 (pre and post discrepancy). Fifteen PD participants consented to a significant other completing the Zarit Burden Interview Results: PD participants overestimated their cognitive abilities in comparison to the control group. Comparisons between unawareness measures were not significant. PD participants were more accurate at estimating their motor abilities and a significant correlation was found between level of cognitive unawareness and caregiver burden. Conclusion: This is the first study to show that people with PD tend to over-estimate their cognitive abilities. Results from the percentile method could provide an alternative, more direct measure of assessing explicit processes related to unawareness in PD. PD patients may be differentially aware of deficits within and across various domains of functioning. Our preliminary data from carers suggests that unawareness of cognitive abilities is a correlate of caregiver burden.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Unawareness, cognitive abilities, Parkinson’s disease, motor abilities, caregiver burden.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Dr. Hamish
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Kaye McKie
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6765
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 13:06
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2015 16:39

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