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Reduced capacity for empathy in corticobasal syndrome and its impact on carer burden


Southi, N and Honan, CA and Hodges, JR and Piguet, O and Kumfor, F, Reduced capacity for empathy in corticobasal syndrome and its impact on carer burden, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 34, (3) pp. 497-503. ISSN 0885-6230 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1002/gps.5045


Corticobasal syndrome (CBS) is clinically characterised by a wide range of motor, cognitive, and behavioural features but remains challenging to diagnose accurately. Despite recent evidence supporting the presence of social cognition and emotion processing disturbances, few studies have explored the nature of empathic ability in CBS. This study aimed to (a) investigate the extent to which cognitive and affective dimensions of empathy are affected in CBS and (b) to determine the impact of such changes on carer burden. Empathic capacity was assessed in 29 CBS patients and 28 matched healthy controls. We employed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), an instrument measuring: (a) perspective taking, (b) fantasy, (c) empathic concern, and (d) personal distress. A significant change in both perspective taking and empathic concern was observed in CBS following disease onset. Furthermore, affective empathy deficits in CBS patients predicted higher levels of carer burden. Disturbances in both cognitive and affective empathy are present in CBS and lead to increased levels of carer burden.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:corticobasal degeneration, affective empathy, carer burden, cognitive empathy
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Honan, CA (Dr Cynthia Honan)
ID Code:130708
Year Published:2019 (online first 2018)
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2019-02-08
Last Modified:2019-04-15

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