Relationship Between Depression and Subjective Executive Functioning in Parkinson’s Patients – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Relationship Between Depression and Subjective Executive Functioning in Parkinson’s Patients

Ava Henness


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Carol Persad, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychiatry-Neuropsychology, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 12
Presenter: 4

Event Link


In addition to physical symptoms, Parkinson’s patients are often diagnosed with mental complications including depression and cognitive dysfunction. However, little is known about the correlation between Parkinson’s patients’ depression and subjective cognitive skills, including executive functioning. This is important because executive dysfunction can cause difficulty in Parkinson’s patients’ ability to complete daily tasks. The main goal of this research is to examine how mental factors such as depression impact a Parkinson’s patient’s subjective executive functioning. In order to compare these two variables, archival clinical data was analyzed in a sample of 175 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD; N(men) = 120, M(age) = 64.41, SD = 8.58). The Geriatric Depression Scale – Short Form (GDS-SF) was used to measure depression, the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe) was used to measure subjective executive functioning, and the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Part III was used to measure PD severity. Pearson’s correlation revealed a significant relationship between the GDS and FrSBe scores, such that higher depression scores correlated with higher self-reported executive dysfunction, R = .42, p < .001. The partial correlation revealed that this relationship remained significant while controlling for UPDRS Part III, R = .45, p < .001. Findings were consistent with this study's hypothesis, such that Parkinson's patients with greater depression were more likely to self-report executive functioning problems. A possible explanation for this is that depressed Parkinson's patients are more likely to have negative self-perceptions, which may cause them to rate their executive functioning skills more poorly. Authors: Ava Henness, Taylor Greif, Carol Persad
Research Method: Data Collection and Analysis

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