To evaluate patient perceptions of a new home diary designed to assess the duration and severity of dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) and to investigate whether the use of a training video and pictograms aids patient understanding of PD terminology.
Fifty advanced PD patients (Hoehn and Yahr stage 2.5-4.0; dyskinesia for >25% of the waking day) from the United States (n = 18), France (n = 12), and Germany (n = 20) were allocated alternately to 1 of 2 groups and shown a training video either with pictograms or without pictograms. The video explained the functional states "asleep," "OFF," "ON without dyskinesia," and "ON with dyskinesia," and how to complete the diary. Patients were given the corresponding version of the diary with or without pictograms to complete over a 24-hour period. Patients then participated in a second interview in which they were shown the alternate version of the video and diary for discussion only.
Almost 95% of patients (47/50) reported that the video helped them to understand and clarify terms. Most patients [39/50 (78%)] preferred the diary with pictograms, but there was no evidence that pictograms improved the accuracy of diary completion. Overall, 80% of patients (40/50) completed the diaries correctly. Incorrect diary completion was usually because of confusion about the different functional states.
Patients perceive diaries with pictograms as more helpful than those with words alone. Videos, in the patients' primary language, are considered valuable training aids that help patients complete daily diaries.