Objective: To identify the life goals of people with Parkinson's disease, to assess whether patients felt that these goals were 'on track', and to assess the relation of these life goals to neuropsychologic and mood function. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study with an age-matched control group. Setting: Outpatient Movement Disorders Clinics Veterans Hospital. Subjects: Twenty-two patients with mid-stage Parkinson's disease and 22 age-matched controls. Measures: Rivermead Life Goals Inventory, neuropsychological and mood scales. Results: People with Parkinson's disease were less likely than age-matched controls to cite religion, social contacts, leisure activities and personal care as 'extremely important life goals'. People with Parkinson's disease assigned significantly lower 'importance' ratings to leisure activities and religion than did controls. In addition, people with Parkinson's disease assigned significantly lower 'on track' ratings for leisure activities, work, social contacts, religion and financial affairs compared with controls' rating on the same items. Although people with Parkinson's disease showed significantly greater levels of cognitive and mood dysfunction than did controls, their mean importance ratings on life goals correlated only with mood function scores. Conclusions: The leisure activities, work, social contacts, religion and financial affairs of people with Parkinson's disease are less 'on track' than are their personal and family relationships. Subjective importance ratings of particular life goals of people with Parkinson's disease were found to be significantly related to mood function and not to cognitive function. Goal derailment ratings on the other hand were significantly related to both mood and cognitive impairment.
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