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Individuals with Parkinson’s Face Bias

New research suggests a common side effect of Parkinson’s disease appears to impart a social bias and degrade quality of life among individuals.

Marc Pell, at McGill University’s School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, has learned that many people develop negative impressions about individuals with Parkinson’s disease, based solely on how they talk or communicate.

These perceptions limit opportunities for social interaction and full participation in society for those with the disease, reducing their quality of life.

Pell’s research offers the public a better understanding of the difficulties these patients face, as well as an opportunity to promote greater inclusiveness.

The research was conducted in collaboration with Abhishek Jaywant, a research trainee in McGill’s Neuropragmatics and Emotion Lab, and with financial support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.

Aging adults both with and without Parkinson’s were recorded as they described visual scenes. Their voices were then played to listeners who were unaware of the speaker’s health status. Those with Parkinson’s disease were perceived as less interested, less involved, less happy and less friendly than aging speakers without the disease.

Negative impressions of their personality were specifically related to changes in the speaking voices caused by the disease, not the ability to describe the scenes.

The ability to communicate effectively is of paramount importance to the psychological well-being of all humans.

This research emphasizes that problems with movement, which alter the speaking voice of Parkinsonian adults, create important social barriers and difficulties with interpersonal communication for those affected.

These findings provide another avenue by which health professionals can address mental and emotional health issues in Parkinson’s patients.

Source: McGill University

Individuals with Parkinson’s Face Bias

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Individuals with Parkinson’s Face Bias. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/02/03/individuals-with-parkinsons-face-bias/11154.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.