Quality of life and gender identity in Parkinson's disease.

Research paper by O O Moore, S S Kreitler, M M Ehrenfeld, N N Giladi

Indexed on: 24 Mar '05Published on: 24 Mar '05Published in: Journal of Neural Transmission - Parkinson's Disease and Dementia Section


We examined the correlation between gender identity (perception of masculinity or femininity) and quality of life (QoL) of 124 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients without dementia (69 men, 55 women, mean age 65.8+/-10.2 years, mean disease duration 8.5+/-5.8 years, mean Hoehn and Yahr [H&Y] stage 2.7+/-0.8). All patients underwent clinical examinations and completed the PDQ-39 and the quality of sexual life questionnaire. Their masculine or feminine stereotypes were determined by the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) modified by Dior. QoL was significantly correlated with disease duration (r=0.262, p<0.01), H&Y staging (r=0.330, p<0.001) and disease severity (UPDRS) (r=0.432, p<0.001). The QoL of androgynous men and women (i.e., with strong feminine and masculine characteristics) was significantly (p<0.05) better than the other gender groups. A significant interaction was found between the sexes to gender identity (p<0.05).Androgynous PD patients cope better with their disease in terms of QoL parameters, especially androgynous women.