Association of rural life setting and poorer quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients: a cross-sectional study in Croatia

Authors


Nataša Klepac, Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, HR – 10 000, Zagreb, Croatia (tel.: +38598541880; fax: +38512388045; e-mail: natasa.klepac@zg.htnet.hr).

Abstract

Assessment of quality of life (QoL) has become an important measure in Parkinson's disease (PD) healthcare as a part of the efforts to evaluate the ‘total burden’ of the illness, and not only the motor disabilities. By analogy with some other diseases, we aimed to investigate potential urban–rural disparities in QoL in PD patients. A total of 111 consecutive PD patients were assessed for QoL using a specific 39-item version of PD quality of life questionnaire (PDQ-39) in a cross-sectional study involving two centers in Croatia. Rural life setting (adjustment for center, age, sex, levodopa dose, disease duration and severity, education, employment status and number of household co-members) was an independent negative predictor of QoL: rural patients had significantly (P < 0.05) worse PDQ-39 Summary Index Score and most of the PDQ-39 subscale scores (cognition, social support, stigma, emotional wellbeing and mobility score, and communication and activity of daily living scores with borderline significance) than their urban counterparts. Socioeconomic background should be considered in attempts to achieve the best management of PD patients’ needs.

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