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Research Review: Coping Styles and Health-Related Quality of Life in People with Parkinson’s Disease

Updated: 7 days ago

Studies have shown that an individual’s coping strategy in PD may be linked with quality of life. Because people with PD are living with a progressive condition, they have to find strategies to adapt to ongoing functional impairments in order to maintain well-being.


Active coping is commonly associated with better health, while passive coping is linked with greater depression and greater functional impairment.


The authors of this study proposed that coping strategies lie on a continuum and that persons with PD use several forms of coping strategies, to varying degrees, at the same time. The study examined the use of different coping strategies (active, passive, mixed) in 162 people with PD and quality of life ratings. Coping styles were measured using the Essen Coping Questionnaire (ECQ):


Active Coping Strategies

  • Acting/problem-oriented coping

  • Distancing and self-affirmation

  • Active search for social integration

  • Willingness to accept help

  • Finding of inner stability

  • Information seeking and exchange of experiences

  • Trust in medical care


Passive Coping Strategies

  • Depressive processing

  • Trivialization, wishful thinking and defensiveness


The study confirms that patients with PD use all types of coping strategies to varying degrees. The most common coping strategy was acting/problem-oriented coping. Many patients used several forms of coping at the same time. In the group studied, the combination of acting/problem- oriented coping and distance and self-affirmation was most commonly used. Subjects with PD approached their disease management actively, in a problem-oriented and cognitively structured manner, while searching for encouragement and self-affirmation and use adaptive coping strategies. The second most common combination was acting/problem-oriented coping and trust in medical care. This means that trust in the work of physicians, in addition to active, problem- oriented disease management, is important in coping with PD.


The study supported a relationship between coping strategies and quality of life. The use of an active coping strategy such as acting/problem-oriented coping was linked with better mental quality of life and the use of an emotional coping such as depressive processing was associated with poorer mental quality of life.


Summarized from:


Association between different coping styles and health-related quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease: a cross-sectional study.


Jenny Doris Liebermann, Otto W. Witte, and Tino Prell


BMJ Open Neurology May 2020





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