Self-Perceived Burden as a Mediator of Depression Symptoms Amongst Individuals Living With a Movement Disorder


  • This work was completed at the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center located at the University of South Florida, Morsani Center, in Tampa, Florida.

Please address correspondence to: Laurie E. Dempsey, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, 950 S. McAllister, Room 237, P.O. Box 871104, Tempe, Arizona 85287. E-mail:



Movement disorders are chronic illnesses that can lead to functional impairment and psychological distress. This study examined the relations between functional impairment, depression, and anxiety in individuals with movement disorders, and whether these associations were mediated by feelings of self-perceived burden.


This cross-sectional study sampled individuals (57 males and 57 females; mean age of 62) with chronic movement disorders from a movement disorders clinic. Patients completed measures of depression, anxiety, functional impairment, and self-perceived burden.


Functional impairment was associated with depression, but not anxiety, and was mediated by self-perceived burden for individuals with chronic movement disorders.


Self-perceived burden may have an important role relative to individuals’ adaptation to chronic illness with implications for future interventions.