Fear of progression

Fear of progression (FoP) is a reactive, conscious concern about chronic disease progression and its consequences which may limit the quality of life substantially. Only one study has examined FoP in Parkinson's disease (PD), showing the second highest FoP scores among chronic diseases.

Objective: To examine FoP prevalence and to exploratorily analyze determinants of FoP in PD.

Methods: Within a multicenter cross-sectional study, 120 PD inpatients (age: 64.45±9.20; 60.8% male; UPDRS-III: 28.86±16.12) were examined with the FoP questionnaire (FoP-Q; max. 20 points). Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis examined sociodemographic, clinical, and (neuro-) psychological determinants of FoP.

Results: With a mean FoP-Q score of 8.08±2.17, 63.0% of the patients were classified with moderate FoP and 17.6% with dysfunctional (i.e., severe) FoP. The highest scores were shown for the subscale 'loss of autonomy'. Increased levels of anxiety, less self-efficacy, female gender, current employment, and lower health literacy were identified as significant determinants associated with FoP.

With more than 80% of patients showing moderate to dysfunctional Fear of progression, it must be regarded as a frequent symptom of Parkinson's Disease, which needs to be further understood and addressed in clinical practice. Clinical parameters like Parkinson's Disease duration and severity were no determinants for Fear of progression, indicating that Fear of progression awareness must be considered by professionals at all disease stages 1).

Folkerts AK, Haarmann L, Nielsen J, Saliger J, Eschweiler M, Karbe H, Allert N, Vida V, Trenkwalder C, Kruse A, Oelsner H, Ebersbach G, Kalbe E. Fear of Progression Is Determined by Anxiety and Self-Efficacy but not Disease-Specific Parameters in Patients with Parkinson's Disease: Preliminary Data from a Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study. J Parkinsons Dis. 2022 Sep 30. doi: 10.3233/JPD-223314. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36189603.
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