Religious and spiritual beliefs in outpatients suffering from Parkinson Disease

S. Giaquinto, L. Bruti, V. Dall'Armi, E. Palma, C. Spiridigliozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective Personality changes are known to occur in idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (PD). The aim of the study was to evaluate whether religious and spiritual beliefs in PD patients are different from age-matched controls. Design Eighty-three PD participants, 79 hypertensive individuals not affected by PD and 88 healthy subjects participated to a cross-sectional study. The Royal Free Interview (RFI) was used to evaluate participants' beliefs. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was applied to monitor emotional distress. Results There was no statistical evidence of a difference between PD participants and the two control groups, the only exception being observed between the left PD onset group and the controls, where the total RFI score was about 5 points higher (t-test: p = 0.0273). RFI total score was uncorrelated with age, severity of illness and depression, but was strongly dependent on the type of beliefs. The percentage of PD participants suffering from anxiety and depression was high (right onset: 54.8%; left onset: 68.6%), while only 15.2% of the hypertensive participants, and none of the healthy controls, had a HADS score above 10 points. Total RFI score was higher in women. Conclusion PD participants maintain their Faith in spite of the disease severity. Differences are found between right and left onset of PD. The possible beneficial effect of religious coping is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-922
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • depression
  • Parkinson Disease
  • religiousness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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