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Current knowledge and attitudes about Parkinson disease among college students

Landua, Jenna
Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms that affect many aspects of an individual’s daily functioning. Multiple studies have investigated college students’ awareness and perceptions of a variety of diseases such as epilepsy, stroke, or dementia. However, there is little to no existing research about current perceptions and knowledge about PD among college students. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to identify the current level of knowledge and attitudes about PD among college students enrolled at Oklahoma State University (OSU). This study utilized a three-part survey that consisted of a demographic survey, a knowledge survey, and an attitudes survey. The three-part survey was conducted online. Participants included 206 undergraduate students representing different ages and majors. Results indicated that participants were more aware of externally observable symptoms of PD when compared to some of the nonmotor symptoms. The results also indicated an overall positive attitude from the participants towards individuals who have PD. In conclusion, the current study findings indicated a great need for more educational programs to be implemented in order to alleviate current lack of knowledge about different symptoms as well as replace misconceptions and negative attitudes with the current facts and knowledge about PD and its possible management.