What Factors Are Associated with Psychological Resilience in Neurodegenerative Diseases?

By Kaitlyn D’Onofrio - Last Updated: March 8, 2021

Patients with neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) often experience psychological distress, which affects factors such as quality of life (QoL), illness cost, and caregiver burden. Conversely, higher psychological resilience may be protective against negative outcomes. Both patients and their caregivers may benefit from a better understanding of what type of support and interventions play a role in lowering psychological resilience in NDDs. A literature review assessed what such factors may contribute to psychological resilience in NDDs.

A search of five electronic databases yielded 18 articles for review per a narrative synthesis approach. Factors were stratified into three categories: core, internal, and external resilience.

When looking at core factors, data were conflicting on the correlation between resilience and physical function, but a relationship between fatigue and less resilience was observed. In terms of internal resilience factors, higher resilience was positively correlated with improved mental health and also appeared to be correlated with different psychological and QoL factors. External resilience factors, such as social connectedness and intervention, were correlated with resilience.

“Various factors were identified to be associated with psychological resilience in NDDs. As resilience appears to be modifiable, it is important to focus on resilience-enhancing interventions for people with NDDs,” the study authors concluded.

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