OBJECTIVE. Parkinson’s disease affects the ability to express motivation through face, body, and voice; contextual factors may facilitate or inhibit expressive behavior. The purpose of this study was to determine whether qualities of the interview context are associated with client motivational behavior in Parkinson’s disease.

METHOD. Men and women with Parkinson’s disease (N = 106) discussed 2 topics (enjoyable activity vs. frustrating activity) during an assessment with a female or male interviewer. From videotaped clips, displays of 4 categories of motivation and 12 verbal and 18 nonverbal behavioral patterns were rated.

RESULTS. During the discussion of enjoyable activities, participants used more positive words, smiled more, and were more facially expressive. Participants were less talkative about their negative feelings and appeared to be more apathetic with the same-gender interviewer.

CONCLUSION. Occupational therapy practitioners should vary the emotional tone of their questions to improve the validity of motivation assessments.

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