Article Title

Quality of life implications for elevated trait impulsivity in people with Parkinson’s disease


Background: Several non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are known to adversely afect patient health-related quality of life (HRQL). However, the specifc impact of neuropsychiatric complications, such as impulsive behaviour, is yet to be elucidated. Objectives The present cross-sectional, observational study aimed to investigate the effects of heightened trait impulsivity on HRQL in individuals with PD.

Methods: A total of 322 people with idiopathic PD were sequentially recruited from Movement Disorder clinics across Australia. Trait impulsivity in patients was determined by Barratt’s Impulsiveness Scale Version 11 (BIS-11), and grouped into tertiles (low, medium, and high). Patient HRQL was determined by the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), complemented by the Cambridge Behavioural Inventory-Revised (CBI-R) indicating caregivers’ perception of patient HRQL.

Results: When total BIS-11 scores were grouped into tertiles, patient perceived and caregiver-perceived HRQL were 1.7-fold (p<.001) and 2.2-fold (p<.001) worse in the high BIS-11 group when compared to patients in the low group. Univariate analysis revealed signifcant associations between second-order attentional (p<.001) and non-planning (p<.001) impulsivity domains with PDQ-39 scores. When controlling for confounding demographic and clinical variables, a multivariate linear regression model revealed second-order attentional impulsivity was independently predictive of poor patient perceived HRQL (p<.001).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that increasing trait impulsivity is significantly associated with patient perceived HRQL in PD. Improved knowledge and recognition of subclinical impulsivity may guide clinicians’ treatment and reduce disease burden for patients experiencing PD symptoms.


impulsivity, quality of life, Parkinson’s disease, non-motor symptoms

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