Date Presented 04/21/2023

This study found that individuals with Parkinson’s disease experience changes in positive and negative emotions during occupational performance related to cognition. The implication of these findings on occupation-based interventions are explored.

Primary Author and Speaker: Karen Hebert

Contributing Authors: Mackenzie Feldhacker

Deficits in emotion and cognition are common in PD (Blonder & Slevin, 2011; Aarsland et al., 2017) but little is know about their interaction and influence on occupational performance. This study explores emotional and cognitive experiences during occupations in individuals with Parkinson Disease (PD) and Health Controls (HC). This cross-sectional study recruited individuals via PD support groups and local community message boards. Twenty-five individuals (11 PD, 14 HC) completed all questionnaires using an online platform. The Emotional Experiences in Activities of Daily Living Scale (EEADLs; Hebert & Ricker, 2022) which assesses 5 emotional affective states (engagement, overwhelm, frustration, excitement, and fatigue) in 3 occupational areas (Personal Care, Simple IADLs, Complex IADLs) and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ: Broadbent et al., 1982) which assesses the frequency of minor daily lapses in cognition were utilized. Group differences on the EEADLs and CFQ were examined using between-subject ANOVAs. Correlational analyses were used to examine the relationship between emotional affect and cognitive performance. Individuals with PD experienced fewer positive emotions in Personal Care areas (F[1,24] = 9.19, p < .01) and more negative emotions in Complex IADLs (F[1, 24] = 3.961, p = .06) than HC. No group differences were found in CFQ scores. Experiencing more cognitive failures was related to fewer positive emotions while completing Simple (r = −.416, p < .05) and Complex (r = −.465, p < .05) IADLs. Individuals with PD experience changes in positive and negative emotional states during occupational performance. Furthermore, the types of emotions experienced during occupations are related to cognitive difficulties. This study advances scientific knowledge regarding emotional changes in PD and their impact on occupational performance, and as a result opens new avenues for occupation-based interventions for this population.


Aarsland, D., Creese, B., Politis, M., Chaudhuri, K.R., Hiffytche, D., Weintraub, D., & Ballard, C. (2017). Cognitive decline in Parkinson disease. Nature Reviews Neurology, 13, 213–231.

Blonder, L.X. & Slevin, J.T. (2011). Emotional dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Behavioral Neurology, 24(3), 201–217.

Broadbent, D.E., Cooper, P.F., FitzGerald, P., & Parkes, K.R. (1982). The cognitive failures questionnaire (CFQ) and its correlates. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 21(1), 1–16.

Hebert, K.R., & Ricker, T.J. (2022). Reliability of the emotional experiences in activites of daily living scale. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health,