Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological illness that impacts various aspects of life. Integration of medical and self-management in a collaborative approach to care is needed to enhance functioning and the quality of life of PD patients. In developing an integrated care program at a tertiary PD clinic, we used a co-design process to gather stakeholder input.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional mixed methods study using surveys and interviews. Patient and caregiver participants from the clinic completed two questionnaires to evaluate perceived receipt of self-management support (Patient Assessment of Care for Chronic Conditions) and activation for managing their health condition (Patient or Caregiver Activation Measure®). A subset of these participants and healthcare providers took part in semi-structured interviews. Survey data were described and tested for relationships between patient characteristics and questionnaire scores using Spearman's rank-order correlation. Interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis.
Results: Fifty-seven PD patients and thirty caregivers completed the questionnaires. Thirteen patients, six caregivers, and six healthcare providers were interviewed. 58% of participants were moderately to highly activated to manage their lives with PD. Participants' perceptions of self-management support varied but was lacking in dimensions of goal-setting and follow-up support/coordination. Qualitative analysis revealed four overarching themes related to experiences of managing PD: activation, self-management support, coordinated care, and access to services.
Conclusions: This first study to explore patient activation in PD found high levels of activation but moderate to low levels of self-management support. The co-design process highlighted important aspects of a more collaborative approach to care.
Keywords: Co-design; Collaborative care; Parkinson’s disease; Self-management.