Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation May Delay Nursing Home Admission for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

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A multidisciplinary rehabilitation program can postpone nursing home admission and reduce overall care costs for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a study released today at the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. The study is published as a meeting abstract and available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mds.v32.S2/issuetoc (Abstract 729).

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There is no question that given proper supports and a strong family structure, activation and physical activity provided by a family are generally superior to what is provided in very stretched and strained nursing facilities.

A multidisciplinary rehabilitation program can postpone nursing home admission and reduce overall care costs for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a study released today at the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

As the disease progresses, PD patients typically lose physical and cognitive abilities, which interfere with daily living and make it more difficult to live independently. The Rehabilitation Unit of the Parkinson’s Expertise Center (RU-PEC) in Groningen, Netherlands, started a multidisciplinary program, including a ‘customized’ program and optimization of medication in 24 advanced PD patients with a median age of 71 years. Improvements in the patients’ activities of daily living (ADL) were evaluated using the AMC Linear Disability Scale (ALDS) and the ability to live independently at home after participation. Assessments were performed at baseline, 6 weeks, 3 months, 2 and 5 years after inclusion in the program.

The study found that a total of 83% of patients could return home after participation in the RU-PEC program. After 2 years, 65% and after 5 years, 28% remained living independently at home. Moreover, 78% of patients had an improved ALDS score (mean 9.9 points). Overall, the program improved patients’ quality of life and delayed nursing home admission, ultimately reducing the total cost per patient.

Janis Miyasaki, Director of the Movement Disorders Program at the University of Alberta states, “I am a big believer in more homecare and avoiding skilled nursing facilities if at all possible - there is no question that given proper supports and a strong family structure, activation and physical activity provided by a family are generally superior to what is provided in very stretched and strained nursing facilities. Further, staying at home often fulfills the patients' and families' wishes to stay at home.”

About the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders: Meeting attendees gather to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Over 3,900 physicians and medical professionals from more than 89 countries will be able to view over 1,500 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society: The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), an international society of over 5,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit http://www.movementdisorders.org.

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Elizabeth Clausen
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