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The recognition and management of psychological difficulties in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: perspectives of the Parkinson’s Disease nurse specialist

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
Issue number3
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)132-139
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/06/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease, most usually associated with motor problems, although psychological difficulties are also commonly experienced. In the UK, Parkinson's disease nurse specialists (PDNSs) are often the key health professionals involved in the management of PD, with regards to both the motor and psychological aspects of the disease. This qualitative study sought to investigate the experiences of PDNSs in recognising and managing psychological difficulties in people with PD.

Five female participants—four PDNSs and one neurology nurse specialising in PD—from the north west of England took part in the study. Participants were all female and had been in their roles for between 2.5 and 14 years. The study used a qualitative methodology aimed at providing a detailed account and analysis.

Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted and subsequently analysed using thematic analysis.

Five overarching themes were developed summarising participants' experiences. These included understanding the causes of psychological difficulties; accessing psychological support; the recognition and management of psychological difficulties; the improvement of psychological care and the personal resilience of the nurse specialists.

The specialist nurses were closely involved in the assessment and support of anxiety and depression of people with PD but concerns were expressed that there were limited resources for further help and management.