Outpatient palliative care improves Parkinson outcomes

(HealthDay)—Compared with standard care alone, outpatient palliative care is associated with benefits among patients with Parkinson disease and related disorders, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in JAMA Neurology.

Benzi M. Kluger, M.D., from the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues evaluated whether outpatient palliative care is associated with improvements in patient-centered outcomes compared with standard care among 210 patients with Parkinson disease and related disorders and 175 caregivers.

The researchers found that compared with participants receiving standard care alone at six months, participants receiving the palliative care intervention had better quality of life. There was no significant difference in caregiver burden between the groups. Significant differences in nonmotor symptom burden, motor symptom severity, completion of advance directives, caregiver anxiety, and caregiver burden at 12 months all favored the palliative care intervention. Benefits of the intervention were greater for persons with higher palliative care needs. No outcomes favored standard care.

“The lack of diversity and implementation of palliative care at experienced centers suggests a need for implementation research in other populations and care settings,” the authors write.

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