A Comparison of Mood and Quality of Life Among People with Progressive Neurological Illnesses and Their Caregivers



The current study was designed to investigate differences in mood and a range of QOL domains among 423 patients and 335 caregivers of people with motor neurone disease (MND), Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients and caregivers completed an anonymous questionnaire that evaluated their mood (anxiety, depression, fatigue, confusion) and QOL (physical, psychological, social, environment). The results demonstrated that caregivers of people with MND and HD experienced most problems with their mood and QOL compared to caregivers of people in the other illness groups. There were few differences in mood or QOL between patients and caregivers. Patients generally showed greater confusion, physical impairment, and psychological maladjustment. The findings suggest that educational and intervention programs need to be developed to help both patients and their caregivers to adjust and cope with these illnesses, particularly caregivers of people with MND and HD.


Caregivers Huntington’s disease Mood Motor neurone disease Multiple sclerosis Parkinson’s Patients Quality of life 



The authors would like to thank the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Victoria, Australian Huntington’s Disease Association of Victoria, Multiple Sclerosis Australia and Parkinson’s Victoria for their support in this research. We also thank the Australian Research Council for funding the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marita P. McCabe
    • 1
  • Lucy Firth
    • 2
  • Elodie O’Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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