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.