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Original Research: The Perioperative Experience of Patients with Parkinson's Disease: A Qualitative Study

Anderson, Lisa Carney PhD, and Kathleen Fagerlund, PhD, RN, CRNA

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: February 2013 - Volume 113 - Issue 2 - pp 26,32
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000426686.84655.4a
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Objective: The goals of this study were to hear from patients with Parkinson's disease about their perioperative experiences and to describe those experiences using the patients’ own words, particularly with regard to antiparkinson medication withholding and symptom exacerbation.

Method: We conducted a descriptive, qualitative study of patients’ perioperative experiences with Parkinson's disease symptom management, performing 14 semistructured interviews with 13 participants who had Parkinson's disease and had undergone any type of surgery excepting Parkinson's disease surgeries.

Results: Patients’ responses indicated concerns that hospital routines aren't flexible enough for their complex medication regimens; that hospital staff may not recognize a patient's own expertise in Parkinson's disease; and that hospital staff need more education about Parkinson's disease, especially regarding the interactions between the disease and surgery or anesthesia (or both).

Conclusions: Participants’ comments made it clear that the actions of nurses could affect the perioperative experience for better or for worse. Our findings further highlight the need for clinical care guidelines for hospitalized patients with Parkinson's disease. Nurses should take the lead in the development of guidelines for Parkinson's disease symptom management.

This study focuses on the perioperative experiences of patients with Parkinson's disease, particularly with regard to antiparkinson medication withholding.

Lisa Carney Anderson is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. Kathleen Fagerlund is a clinical associate professor ad Honorem at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. The authors acknowledge Doug Flashinski, MN, RN, Peter Schensted, MN, RN, and Wendy Wang, MD, MPH, CPH, for assistance with data collection. This study was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (P20 NR008992). Contact author: Kathleen Fagerlund, fager003@umn.edu. The authors and nurse planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.