Social role functioning in Parkinson's disease: A mixed-methods systematic review

Kate Perepezko*, Jared T. Hinkle, Melissa D. Shepard, Nicole Fischer, Martinus P. G. Broen, Albert F. G. Leentjens, Joseph J. Gallo, Gregory M. Pontone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

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Objectives Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that often impedes activities of daily living (ADL) and social functioning. Impairment in these areas can alter social roles by interfering with employment status, household management, friendships, and other relationships. Understanding how PD affects social functioning can help clinicians choose management strategies that mitigate these changes. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods systematic review of existing literature on social roles and social functioning in PD. A tailored search strategy in five databases identified 51 full-text reports that fulfilled the inclusion criteria and passed the quality appraisal. We aggregated and analyzed the results from these studies and then created a narrative summary. Results Our review demonstrates how PD causes many people to withdraw from their accustomed social roles and experience deficits in corresponding activities. We describe how PD symptoms (eg, tremor, facial masking, and neuropsychiatric symptoms) interfere with relationships (eg, couple, friends, and family) and precipitate earlier departure from the workforce. Additionally, several studies demonstrated that conventional PD therapy has little positive effect on social role functioning. Conclusions Our report presents critical insight into how PD affects social functioning and gives direction to future studies and interventions (eg, couple counseling and recreational activities).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1138
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • caregiver
  • Parkinson's disease
  • quality of life
  • social roles

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