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Psychosocial problems in Parkinson's disease: Evaluation of a disease-specific questionnaire



Our objective was to evaluate the BELA-P-k, a questionnaire for measuring psychosocial problems and need for help in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The Belastungsfragebogen Parkinson kurzversion (BELA-P-k) was translated from German into Dutch. It consists of 19 items distributed over four subscales: achievement capability/physical symptoms, fear/emotional functioning, social functioning and partner-bonding/family, with a “Bothered by” (Bb) and a “Need for Help” (NfH) score. The BELA-P-k was tested for cultural differences, relevance, and feasibility in a pilot study (n = 10) and compared in a validation study (n = 54) with the Sickness Impact Profile, the COOP/WONCA Functional Health Assessment Charts and the Loneliness Questionnaire. All questionnaires were administered in person at home, in a prescribed order. The BELA-P-k was completed by 64 patients with PD. The internal-consistency reliability coefficients for the total Bb (0.90) and NfH (0.93) scales were excellent. The internal consistency of the subscales exceeded the 0.70 standard except for the “Bothered by partner-bonding/family scale” (0.61). Almost all BELA-P-k subscales correlated highly (P < 0.001) with the corresponding scales of the standard quality-of-life indices. There was no significant relationship between disease severity (Hoehn and Yahr) and the BELA-P-k. We conclude that the BELA-P-k is a relevant, reliable and valid measure for assessing psychosocial problems and need for help of PD patients. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society