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Issue Date: July 01, 2015
Published Online: February 09, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2020
How People Living With Parkinson’s Disease Manage Daily Symptoms
Author Affiliations
  • Tufts University
  • Tufts University
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Parkinson's Disease / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
How People Living With Parkinson’s Disease Manage Daily Symptoms
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505125. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5089
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505125. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5089
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

This study revealed that people with Parkinson’s disease and caregivers participate in many activities outside the home and implement several categories of strategies to participate in daily occupations. There is a need to understand nonpharmacological symptom management for this population.

SIGNIFICANCE: Little is known about nonpharmacological approaches to managing daily life with Parkinson’s disease. The primary focus of management is pharmacological. This study addresses a gap by examining how individuals and their care partners spontaneously describe managing symptoms using nonpharmacological approaches to participate in activities outside of the home together.
INNOVATION: This research aims to develop a categorization system for comprehensive management of Parkinson’s disease outside of medication. Interviewing people with the disease and their care partners about co-occupations and management strategies is novel. The results guide practitioners to address symptoms of people living with Parkinson’s disease centering on types of activities couples engage in and nonpharmacological self-management.
APPROACH: Research questions included the following: (1) In what types of activities do individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners participate outside the home? (2) When talking about strategies for managing the disease for their outside-of- the-home activities, what types of nonpharmacological strategies do couples describe?
RATIONALE/BACKGROUND: Past research on Parkinson’s disease focused on medication management. Understanding nonpharmacological management strategies that people use to manage symptoms will advance occupational therapy practitioners’ ability to improve quality of life for this population.
METHOD: Interviews of people with Parkinson’s disease and caregivers describing recent activities done together were transcribed, and content was analyzed. Transcriptions were from the database of a longitudinal study: Emergence and Evolution of Social Self-Management of Parkinson’s Disease. Interviews occurred in a university occupational therapy laboratory. Ten people in early-to-moderate stages of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and their care partners participated. Inclusion criteria included a score of ≥26 on the Mini-Mental State Examination, English-speaking, and home setting within driving proximity of the laboratory.
Open-ended interviews about recent activities outside the home were content analyzed for activities and symptom management. Two coders coded each transcription to ensure reliability. Codes were developed using guidelines from the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process. The qualitative analysis links the daily activities and symptom management of people with Parkinson’s disease and care partners to current occupational therapy philosophy. This association lays groundwork for occupational therapy practitioners to better understand the daily nonpharmacological management of Parkinson’s disease.
RESULTS : The majority of activities that dyads participated in outside the home were high-demand leisure and social activities. Findings reveal that participants use nonpharmacological strategies to manage Parkinson’s disease during activities outside of the home. These strategies can be sorted into categories (e.g., energy conservation, verbal cueing, time management).
CONCLUSION: This study advances knowledge for occupational therapy practice on strategies to manage symptoms of Parkinson’s disease outside of medication and the types of activities that people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners do together outside the home. The external validity of this research will increase when the larger study (120 dyads, interviewed six times) is completed.