Anxiety, depression and swallowing disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease

Yael Manor*, Meirav Balas, Nir Giladi, Rajshree Mootanah, Jacob T. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Swallowing disturbances (SDs), anxiety and depression are commonly present in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. We hypothesized that there is an association between the presence of SDs and the PD affective state. Sixty-nine PD patients were assessed for the presence of SDs by undergoing cognitive screening with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), completing three inventories: a swallowing disturbance questionnaire (SDQ), the Spielberger manual for the trait anxiety and Beck depression inventories. All patients underwent clinical swallowing evaluations by a speech and language pathologist (SLP). Patients diagnosed with SDs were also assessed by fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) performed by an ENT and SLP. Thirty-eight patients experienced SDs, the other 31 did not. The clinical characteristics of the two groups were matched. Patients with SDs experienced increased anxiety and depression compared to patients without SDs. Comparisons between patients who scored in the two opposite ends of the anxiety and depression ranges demonstrated that the most anxious and depressed patients reported more swallowing difficulties (SDQ scores) compared with the least anxious and depressed ones. In addition, the most anxious patients had significantly increased disease severity and decreased MMSE scores compared with the least anxious patients. Disease severity was also increased in the most depressed patients compared with the least depressed ones. Advanced disease emerged as being associated with high anxiety levels and greater numbers of SDs. The contribution of anxiety or depression to the development or worsening of SDs and their role in treatment strategy warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-456
Number of pages4
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Swallowing disturbances


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