Catastrophizing mediates the relationship between non-motor symptoms and quality of life in Parkinson's disease

Sheera F. Lerman, Gila Bronner, Oren S. Cohen, Sandra Elincx-Benizri, Hanna Strauss, Gilad Yahalom, Sharon Hassin-Baer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances are highly prevalent in persons with PD and have a profound impact on their quality of life (QOL). Catastrophizing is a negative coping style known to influence individuals' ability to cope with their medical symptoms and contributes to negative health-related outcomes, yet, it has not been studied in persons with PD. Objective: The objectives of this study were to measure catastrophizing in PD and explore its role as a mediator of the relationship between non-motor symptoms and QOL. Methods: One-hundred and three individuals diagnosed with PD completed questionnaires regarding pain catastrophizing, QOL and non-motor symptoms: pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances. Results: More than half of the sample exhibited high levels of pain, anxiety and sleep disturbances. Catastrophizing was significantly correlated with QOL and with all of the non-motor symptoms. Catastrophizing mediated the relationship between all of non-motor symptoms and QOL as well as the relationship between age and QOL. Conclusions: Negative psychologic coping, specifically catastrophizing, has an important role in determining how destructive non-motor symptoms can be on the QOL of persons with PD. This is the first study to measure catastrophizing in this population and demonstrate its negative impact on QOL. Our findings emphasize the need to identify persons at risk for poor QOL and referrer them to appropriate psychological care. Evidence based interventions that target catastrophizing should be tested for their efficacy in persons with PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-678
Number of pages6
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Catastrophizing
  • Coping
  • Non-motor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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