Congratulations to Drs. Robert Eisinger, Michael Okun, and Aysegul Gundez on the publication of “Online vs Face-to-Face Administration of Impulse Control Disorder Questionnaires in Parkinson Disease: Does Method Matter?” This article was published in the August 31st edition of Neurology: Clinical Practice
Background: Social desirability bias, the tendency to underreport undesirable behaviors, may be one reason patients with Parkinson disease (PD) underreport symptoms of impulse control disorders (ICDs).
Methods: We compared rates of ICD endorsement on questionnaires administered face-to-face and online in 60 patients with mild to moderate idiopathic PD. Participants also completed a self-report measure of social desirability.
Results: We found significantly higher prevalence of any ICD based on online (56.7%) versus in-person (33.3%) administration. Significantly higher endorsement of items related to hypersexuality in men, and compulsive eating and buying in women were found with online administration. Social desirability bias was positively correlated with ICD symptom endorsement across all items and subscales.
Conclusion: Results highlight the importance of social context/setting and the need for sensitivity and discretion when screening for ICD symptoms. While a higher level of symptom endorsement does not necessarily imply a greater level of accuracy, more work is needed to determine which method of administration is most accurate for clinical and research practice.