Developing Interventions to Address Mental Health in Parkinson Disease: Lisanne Dommershuijsen, MSc


The PhD candidate in the epidemiology department at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands discussed the need for tailored treatment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“Our results show that the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t only have a direct impact on the physical symptoms of people with Parkinson disease, but also maybe a more indirect impact on the mental health aspect. I think these results might help clinicians to recognize these symptoms in their patients, [and] also acknowledge that this is really a problem, and that the patients aren’t alone in this problem.”

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a variety of challenges for patients with preexisting conditions, including mental health in those with Parkinson disease (PD). Lisanne Dommershuijsen, MSc, PhD candidate in epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss her presentation at the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) Virtual Congress 2021, which outlined the PRIME-NL study of COVID-19 stressors and associated impact on depression, anxiety, and quality of life in PD. 

According to Dommershuijsen, developing tailored interventions for patients with PD is crucial to address the mental health of these patients, with the approach dependent on the stressor, as well as the possibility of in-person or virtual settings. Within the PRIME-NL study, investigators evaluated a total of 8 stressors, including care stressors, social stressors, and stressors related to physical activities. For those most affected by social stressors, such as lack of social contact, canceled social events, or tension/conflict at home, Dommershuijsen discussed the potential of social prescribing, via virtual support group to foster a more personalized approach.

For more coverage of MDS 2021, click here.

Dommershuijsen L, Heide A, Berg E, et al. Effect of COVID-19 stressors on mental health and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. Presented at: MDS Congress 2021; September 17-22; Virtual. Poster 1045. 
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