People living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers: a systematic review of psychosocial interventions; and, Psychological adjustment in people living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers: the role of coping, illness beliefs and self-compassion
This thesis comprises of a systematic review and an empirical study aimed to gain a greater understanding of the psychological needs of both people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), their caregivers, and how these needs can be met. The systematic review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, where people living with PD and their caregivers are involved in the intervention (dyad-based), on psychological and additional outcomes measured. The review included 13 studies which met predefined eligibility criteria. Due to varied methodological quality of the studies, this review to an extent suggests that dyad-based psychosocial interventions may provide psychological benefits for people living with PD. Whereas, there was no substantive evidence to suggest dyad-based psychosocial interventions are effective for caregivers. More high-quality research is required to conclusively establish the effectiveness of these interventions for both people living with PD and their caregivers. The empirical study extended previous research examining the relationship between illness beliefs and coping with psychological adjustment (in terms of anxiety, depression and quality of life) in people living with PD and caregivers, whilst developing research in to the role of self-compassion within this process. A cross-sectional survey design with participants living with PD (N=66) and their caregivers (N=24) with the following measures was utilised; Brief COPE, Brief-Illness Perception Questionnaire, Self-Compassion Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Parkinson’s disease Questionnaire 8-item and Adult Carer Quality of Life Questionnaire. The results of the study provided further evidence for the relationship between illness beliefs and psychological adjustment outcomes in people living with PD. In addition, the study provided preliminary evidence of a relationship between self-compassion and psychological adjustment outcomes of psychological distress in people living with PD. Further research of a larger and more representative sample is required to establish the role of illness beliefs, coping responses and self-compassion in psychological adjustment in both people living with PD and their caregivers.