Individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) who do not have dementia reliably demonstrate mild executive deficits on laboratory-based tests, but the impact of these deficits on occupational performance is unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the relevance of executive dysfunction in PD without dementia to instrumental, leisure, and social activity participation. Twenty-four individuals with PD and 30 matched adult volunteers performed an experimental working memory test and rated their everyday executive function and activity participation. Participants with PD had worse working memory performance, tended to report more every day executive problems, and reported lower activity participation compared to controls. Within PD, lower everyday executive function was associated with reduced activity participation after controlling for motor dysfunction and depressive symptoms. Executive function is an indepen dent predictor of complex activity participation in early PD. These results suggest the need for occupational therapists to consider executive dysfunction during evaluation and treatment of individuals with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S16-S22
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Activities of daily living
  • Cognition
  • Parkinsonian disorders


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