BackgroundThe effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with Parkinson's disease (PD) is poorly understood.
ObjectiveTo rapidly identify areas of need and improve care in people with PD during the COVID-19 pandemic, we deployed a survey to assess COVID-19 symptoms and the pandemic's effect among those with and without COVID-19.
MethodsPeople with and without PD participating in the online study Fox Insight (FI) were invited to complete a survey between April 23 and May 23, 2020. Among people reporting COVID-19 diagnoses, we compared symptoms and outcomes in people with and without PD. Among people not reporting COVID-19, we assessed access to healthcare and services and PD symptoms.
Results7,209/9,762 active FI users responded (approximately 74% response rate), 5,429 people with PD and 1,452 without PD. COVID-19 diagnoses were reported by 51 people with and 26 without PD. Complications were more frequent in people with longer PD duration. People with PD and COVID-19 experienced new or worsening motor (63%) and nonmotor (75%) symptoms. People with PD not diagnosed with COVID-19 reported disrupted medical care (64%), exercise (21%), and social activities (57%), and worsened motor (43%) and non-motor (52%) symptoms. Disruptions were more common for those living alone, with lower income and non-White race.
ConclusionsThe COVID-19 pandemic is associated with wide-ranging effects on people with PD, and certain groups may be at particular risk. FI provides a rapid, patient-centered means to assess these effects and identify needs that can be used to improve the health of people with PD.