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Informal carers play an essential role in the care of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This role, however, is often fraught with difficulties, including emotional, physical, and financial. Coping styles and relationship quality have been hypothesized to influence the impact of stressors. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between carers’ coping style, relationship quality, and carer burden.
Thirty-nine PD patient carer dyads were included in the study.
Participants completed self-rated questionnaires including the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Zarit Burden Interview, and Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory.
Correlational analyses found significant and positive correlation between carer burden and all three coping styles (problem-focused, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional). There was also a moderate association between carers’ perceived relationship quality and satisfaction and carer burden. Regression analyses found that carer’s gender, severity of PD, relationship quality, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional coping styles did not predict carer burden. Conversely, problem-focused coping style predicted carer burden.
The results highlight that there is no perfect way to react and care for a loved one and serves as important information for practitioners who design and implement interventions.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness, satisfaction, and acceptance of a low-cost Lombard-response (LR) device in a group of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (IWPD) and their communication partners (CPs).
Sixteen IWPD and hypophonia and their CPs participated in the study. The IWPD wore a LR device that included a small MP3 player (Sony Walkman) and headphones playing a multi-talker noise audio file at 80 dB during lab-based speech tasks and during their daily conversational speech over a 2-week device trial period. Outcome measures included average conversational speech intensity and scores on a questionnaire related to speech impairment, communication effectiveness, and device satisfaction.
Conversational speech intensity of the IWPD is increased by 7 to 10 dB with the LR device. Following a 2-week trial period, eight of the IWPD (50%) gave the LR device moderate-to-high satisfaction and effectiveness ratings and decided to purchase the device for long-term daily use. At the 4-month follow-up, none of the IWPDs were still using the LR device. Device rejection was related to discomfort (loudness), headaches, interference with cognition, and difficulty controlling device.
Short-term acceptance and satisfaction with the LR device was moderate, but long-term acceptance, beyond 4 months, was absent. Future studies are required to determine if other types of low-cost LR devices can be developed that improve long-term efficacy and device acceptance in IWPD and hypophonia.
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