Content » Vol 47, Issue 1

Original report

Parkinson’s disease: A population-based investigation of life satisfaction and employment

Helena Gustafsson , Peter Nordström, Stefan Stråhle , Anna Nordström
Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1884


Objective: To investigate relationships between individuals’ socioeconomic situations and quality of life in working-aged subjects with Parkinson’s disease.
Methods: A population-based cohort comprising 1,432 people with Parkinson’s disease and 1,135 matched controls, who responded to a questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with life satisfaction and likelihood of employment.
Results: In multivariate analyses, Parkinson’s disease was associated with an increased risk of dissatisfaction with life (odds ratio (OR) = 5. 4, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 4. 2–7. 1) and reduced likelihood of employment (OR = 0. 30, 95% CI = 0. 25–0. 37). Employers’ support was associated with greater likelihood of employment (p < 0. 001). Twenty-four percent of people with Parkinson’s disease for ≥ 10 years remained employed and 6% worked full-time. People with Parkinson’s disease also more frequently experienced work demands that exceeded their capacity; this factor and unemployment independently correlated with greater risk of dissatisfaction with life (both p < 0. 05).
Conclusion: People with Parkinson’s disease have an increased risk of dissatisfaction with life. Employment situation is important for general life satisfaction among working-aged individuals. People with Parkinson’s disease appear to find it difficult to meet the challenge of achieving a balanced employment situation.

Lay Abstract


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