Persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD) need to adapt to their progressive disability to achieve and maintain a high degree of life satisfaction (LS), but little is known about the meaning of LS and adaptation. This study aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of the meaning of LS and adaptation in persons with PD. Open-ended in-depth interviews were performed with 13 persons diagnosed with PD, 9 women, 3 men, and one non-binary person (mean age 54 years, mean time since diagnosis 3.4 years). The interviews were analyzed using a phenomenological–hermeneutic approach. The participants were in the process of adapting to their new health situation. There were two quite distinct groups: one that adapted through acceptance and one that struggled to resist the disease and the profound impact it had on their lives. The thematic structural analysis covers eight themes illustrating the meaning of LS and adaptation, through either acceptance or resistance. Adaptation to PD involves a transitional process characterized by either acceptance or resistance, which influences a person’s LS. Acceptance makes LS possible, whereas resistance constitutes a behavioral barrier to adaptation and LS. Rehabilitation professionals need to understand this individual process to be able to support a person with PD to reach and maintain a high level of LS. Understanding the link between LS and adaptation can support rehabilitation professionals to provide targeted interventions for people with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3308
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Free keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psychological
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality of life
  • Self-management
  • Sense of coherence


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