Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Cynthia McRae, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jesse Valdez

Third Advisor

Kathy Green


Fetal tissue implantation, Parkinson's Disease, Physical functioning, Quality of life, Self-efficacy, Social support


Few studies have comprehensively explored the benefit of fetal tissue implantation in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. This type of investigation is necessary to better understand how and why some participants in a double-blind investigation of fetal tissue implantation for PD improved following the surgical procedure while others did not (Freed et al., 2001). Data for the present study were collected during a quality of life (QoL) study conducted by McRae et al. (2004) that sampled PD patients who participated in Freed et al.'s (2001) double-blind investigation of fetal tissue implantation. Several aspects of QoL were examined in McRae et al.'s (2004) study, including perceived social support and self-efficacy.

The literature on chronic disease management has consistently demonstrated the important role self-efficacy and social support have on the overall functioning of those living with chronic disease, specifically PD (Chenoweth, Gallager, Sheriff, Donoghue, & Stein-Parbury, 2008; Montgomery, Lieberman, Sing, & Fries, 1994; Schreurs, De Ridder, & Bensing, 2000; Simpson, Haines, Lekwuwa, Wardle, & Crawford, 2006). Additionally, literature on the placebo effect has suggested that higher levels of self-efficacy and perceived social support can enhance and sustain the placebo effect (Crow et al., 1999; Howard, 2008; Kaptchuk et al., 2008; Miller et al., 2009). The present study examined the predictive ability of perceived social support and self-efficacy in regard to physical functioning and perceived treatment in a sample of PD patients who received fetal tissue implantation. The study uniquely contributed to the literature because it was the first to examine the role of self-efficacy and the interaction between self-efficacy and social support on physical functioning and perceived treatment within this participant sample.

Results indicated that self-efficacy was a significant predictor of physical functioning at 12-months post-fetal tissue implantation while social support was not found to be a significant predictor. Self-efficacy and social support were not significant predictors of patients' physical functioning 24-months post-fetal tissue implantation or of patients' perceived treatment group 12-months after the initial surgery. Future research studies might consider examining the longitudinal role of social support and self-efficacy on patient responsiveness to and benefit from surgical interventions for PD.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Bethany L. Fiebelkorn

File size

133 p.

File format





Health sciences, Physiological psychology, Behavioral sciences