The Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease on Couple Satisfaction: An 18-Month Longitudinal Study

  • Marc BaertschiEmail author
  • Nicolas Favez
  • João Flores Alves Dos Santos
  • Michalina Radomska
  • François Herrmann
  • Pierre Burkhard
  • Alessandra Canuto
  • Kerstin Weber


Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may benefit from deep brain stimulation (DBS) to improve motor and medication-induced symptoms. Yet mixed evidence regarding the outcome of successful DBS on couple satisfaction has been highlighted in the literature. Thirty patients diagnosed with PD were included in a study investigating couple satisfaction (MSS-14), depression (HAD-D) and anxiety (HAD-A) at four measurement times: before DBS and 6, 12, and 18 months post-surgically. Sixteen spouses/partners were included as well. Couple satisfaction from the patient perspective was never associated with depression or anxiety. However, poor marital adjustment (i.e., difference and absolute difference between patients and spouses/partners MSS-14 scores) predicted patients’ pre-operative depressive mood. Longitudinal analyses showed that couple satisfaction (n = 9) worsened at 12 months and 18 months compared to pre-DBS scores, F(2.047, 16.378) = 8.723, p = .003, and despite concomitant motor improvement. Growth curve analyses showed that couple satisfaction worsening occurred between 6 and 12 months post-operatively (b = 2.938, p < .001). Thus, couple satisfaction did not increase along with motor improvement and deteriorated after the adjustment period following DBS.


Couple satisfaction Parkinson’s disease Deep brain stimulation Longitudinal 



This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grant No.: CR31I3_149578/1).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors Marc Baertschi, Nicolas Favez, João Flores Alves Dos Santos, Michalina Radomska, François Herrmann, Pierre Burkhard, Alessandra Canuto, and Kerstin Weber declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committees and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Service of General Psychiatry and PsychotherapyNant FoundationMontreuxSwitzerland
  3. 3.Service of Liaison Psychiatry and Crisis InterventionGeneva University HospitalsGenevaSwitzerland
  4. 4.Liaison Psychiatry and Emergency Psychiatric CenterNeuchatel Psychiatric CenterNeuchâtelSwitzerland
  5. 5.Division of GeriatricsGeneva University HospitalsThônexSwitzerland
  6. 6.Service of NeurologyGeneva University HospitalsGenevaSwitzerland
  7. 7.Executive and General Management ServiceHôpital de Nant, Nant FoundationCorsier-sur-VeveySwitzerland
  8. 8.Division of Institutional Measures, Medical DirectionGeneva University HospitalsChêne-BourgSwitzerland

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