Advanced Care Planning in Parkinson's Disease: In-depth Interviews With Patients on Experiences and Needs

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Introduction: Advance care planning (ACP) is an iterative process of discussing the needs, wishes, and preferences of patients regarding disease-specific and end-of-life issues. There is ample evidence that ACP improves the quality of life and promotes the autonomy of patients with cancer and motor neuron disease who have a high disease burden and shortened life expectancy. In Parkinson's disease (PD) though, knowledge about the experiences and preferences of patients regarding ACP is scarce, despite the major disease burden associated with PD. Aim: This study aims to explore the experiences, needs, and preferences of PD patients regarding the content and timing of ACP. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with a purposively selected sample of patients diagnosed with PD. Using a semi-structured topic list, the participants were asked about their prospects for a future living with PD and with whom they wanted to discuss this. Qualitative analysis was performed in parallel with data collection using a data-driven constant comparative approach. The transcribed interviews were coded and analyzed by two researchers using MAXQDA software. Results: Of all 20 patients (13 males; age 47–82; disease duration 1–27 years), most expressed a wish to talk about ACP with a healthcare provider, enabling them to anticipate the uncertain future. The majority of patients preferred their healthcare provider to initiate the discussion on ACP, preferably at an early stage of the disease. Nearly all patients expressed the wish to receive more information regarding the long-term impact of PD, although, the preferred timing varied between patients. They also perceived that their neurologist was primarily focused on medication and had little time to address their need for a more holistic approach toward living with PD. Conclusion: Our results suggest that PD patients are in need of discussing ACP with their healthcare provider (HCP), even in the early stages of the disease. In addition, PD patients perceive a lack of information on their disease course and miss guidance on available supportive care. We recommend HCPs to inquire the information requirements and preferences of patients regarding ACP regularly, starting soon after diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number683094
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021


  • Parkinsion's disease
  • advanced care planning
  • information preferences
  • physician-patient communication
  • qualitative analysis

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