until further notice
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 98, 6, (2015), pp. 777-82
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectRadboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
OBJECTIVE: To explore patients' views on their pathway to the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD). METHODS: A qualitative study of 52 essays written by patients with PD, using comparative content analysis. RESULTS: Patients divide their diagnostic pathway into three time intervals: recognition of the symptoms; the decision to seek help; and the process of diagnosing PD. Patients have difficulties recognizing the prodromal symptoms of PD (their knowledge is based on public figures with advanced PD) and mention their general practitioners do as well. The decision to seek help is influenced by the patient's attitude toward health care and by their significant others. More than half of the patients believe their diagnosis was delayed. However, the majority of all patients are satisfied with their diagnostic trajectory. CONCLUSION: The pathway to diagnosing PD is an iterative process influenced by patient-, health care provider- and disease-related factors. Despite possible delay in diagnosis, patients are content with their pathway. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: In order to facilitate earlier diagnosis and timely therapeutic intervention (in particular with regard to future possibilities for disease modifying therapy), effort is required to increase the recognition of prodromal symptoms of PD by patients, their significant others and health care providers.
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