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Palliative care for Parkinson's disease: a summary of the evidence and future directions


Richfield, EW and Jones, EJS and Alty, JE, Palliative care for Parkinson's disease: a summary of the evidence and future directions, Palliative Medicine, 27, (9) pp. 805-810. ISSN 0269-2163 (2013) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1177/0269216313495287


Background: Parkinson's disease is a common, life-limiting, neurodegenerative condition. Despite calls for improved access to palliative care for people with Parkinson's disease, services have been slow in developing. Obstacles include poor understanding and recognition of palliative care needs, the role for specialist palliative care services and an agreed structure for sustainable palliative care provision.

Aim: To summarise the evidence base for palliative care in Parkinson's disease, linking current understanding with implications for clinical practice and identifying areas for future research.

What is known: Convention recognises a final 'palliative phase' in Parkinson's disease, while qualitative studies suggest the presence of palliative care need in Parkinson's disease from diagnosis. Clinical tools to quantify palliative symptom burden exist and have helped to identify targets for intervention. Dementia is highly prevalent and influences many aspects of palliative care in Parkinson's disease, with particular implications for end-of-life care and advance care planning.

Implications for clinical practice: The 'palliative phase' represents a poor entry point for consideration of palliative care need in Parkinson's disease. An alternative, integrated model of care, promoting collaboration between specialist palliative and neurological services, is discussed, along with some specific palliative interventions. WHAT IS UNKNOWN: Limited evidence exists regarding timing of palliative interventions, triggers for specialist referral and management of terminal care.

Implications for future research: Research examining access to palliative care and management of terminal symptoms will assist development of sustainable, integrated palliative care services for Parkinson's disease.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Keywords:palliative care, parkinson's disease
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Palliative care
UTAS Author:Alty, JE (Associate Professor Jane Alty)
ID Code:145426
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:53
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2021-07-21
Last Modified:2021-08-10

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