Mental health-related healthcare use following bilateral deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease

Lauren C. Westbay*, Lishan Cao, Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Natalie Reizine, Brandon Barton, Dolores Ippolito, Frances M. Weaver, Kevin T. Stroupe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the globus pallidus internus (GPi) are both effective targets for deep brain stimulation (DBS) to relieve motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. However, studies have reported varied effects on mental health-related adverse events and depressed mood following DBS. Objective: The current observational study sought to compare mental health healthcare utilization and costs for three years following STN or GPi DBS. Methods: For a cohort of Veterans (n = 161) with Parkinson's disease who participated in a larger multi-site randomized trial, we compared mental health outpatient visits, medication use, inpatient admissions, and associated costs by DBS target site (STN vs. GPi). Results: Neither group nor time differences were significant for mental health outpatient or inpatient utilization following DBS. Overall costs associated with mental health visits and medications did not differ by time or by group. However, the percentage of patients with mental health medication use increased in the 6-month and 6 to 12 month periods post-surgery. The STN group had significantly greater increase in medication use at 6 to 12 months post-surgery compared to the GPi group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Despite a brief increase in medication use following surgery, this study suggests that mental health healthcare use and costs are stable over time and similar between DBS targets. Prior research findings of mental health-related adverse events and mood following DBS did not translate to greater mental health service utilization in our cohort. The changes seen in the year following surgery may reflect temporary adjustments with stabilization over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Parkinson's disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 14 2015


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Mental health
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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