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Allied health care in Parkinson's disease: Referral, consultation, and professional expertise

Authors

  • Maarten J. Nijkrake PT, MSc,

    1. Parkinson Center Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    3. Research Centre of Allied Health Sciences, Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Samyra H.J. Keus PT, MSc,

    1. Parkinson Center Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, Leiden University Medical Center Leiden, The Netherlands
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  • Rob A.B. Oostendorp PT, PhD,

    1. Research Centre of Allied Health Sciences, Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Sebastiaan Overeem MD, PhD,

    1. Parkinson Center Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Wim Mulleners MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Bastiaan R. Bloem MD, PhD,

    1. Parkinson Center Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Marten Munneke PT, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Parkinson Center Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    3. Research Centre of Allied Health Sciences, Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    • Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Parkinson Center Nijmegen (ParC), Department of Neurology 935, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Potential conflict of interest: None reported.

Abstract

There is evidence for the efficacy of allied health care in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, barriers exist that hamper implementation of evidence into daily practice. We conducted a survey to investigate: (1) to what extent PD patients currently utilize allied health care for relevant problems in the core areas of allied health care and (2) the level of PD-specific expertise among allied health professionals. Questionnaires were sent to 260 patients and 297 allied health professionals. Referral rates were 63% for physical therapy, 9% for occupational therapy, and 14% for speech therapy. PD patients with problems that can potentially be alleviated by input from allied health professionals are often not being referred. Furthermore, most patients were treated by allied health professionals who lacked PD-specific expertise. Current referral to and delivery of allied health care in PD are suboptimal. Evidence-based guidelines for allied health care in PD and active implementation of these guidelines are needed. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society

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