Objectives: Previous research has examined costs associated with progressive neurological illnesses, but has not examined predictors of economic pressure, or quality of life (QOL). The aim of the current study was to examine the predictors of both economic pressure and QOL among people with a range of progressive neurological illness.
Method: Participants were 257 people with motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
Results: High levels of cut backs in spending predicted economic pressure for all groups. Economic pressure predicted QOL at 12-month follow-up for all groups except Parkinson’s. For Parkinson’s, predictors of QOL were long duration of illness, illness-related expenses and cut backs in spending. Cut backs in spending, and not income or expenses, were the most important predictor of economic pressure. QOL was predicted by high levels of economic pressure for most of the illness groups.
Discussion: The implications of these findings are discussed. They suggest that cut backs in spending, as opposed to income and expenses, are important factors to focus on assisting people to adjust to the changes to their financial situation that frequently occurs after developing one of these progressive neurological illnesses.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology