Research Insights

Assessing comorbidity in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Movement Disorders

Visser, M., J. Marinus, et al (2004) Assessing comorbidity in patients with Parkinson’s disease Movement Disorders, 19(7): 824-8

This study looked at a new interview-based assessment, the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale-Geriatric (CIRS-G), to evaluate comorbid conditions in patients with PD. 41 PD patients (mean age=70+ 8.6; PD duration=8.7+6.2 years) were interviewed for self-report of comorbid conditions and after consent was obtained their general medical file was also reviewed to determine self-report accuracy. These authors found that the most common comorbid affected systems (various severity levels) were gastrointestinal (55% of patients), bowel/bladder (52%), musculoskeletal (48%), and eyes, ears, throat, and larynx (48%). They also found that patientÕs recollection was comparable in accuracy to chart review for moderate or severe comorbid conditions but not for mild comorbid conditions. The authors found that patients that were cognitively intact were more likely to omit comorbid difficulties as compared to their chart, but they suggest if interviewers ask more specific questions about diseases or other tests, patient accuracy should improve. They suggest that future research should focus on PD patients with comorbid conditions as they are relatively common and may better represent the typical PD patient.

Click here to read the abstract.

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