Group visits have shown benefits for people with other chronic conditions, but have not been evaluated for people with Parkinson’s disease. Group visits can allow patients more time with their doctor than they might have with individual appointments and more time for doctors to provide education on managing the disease.
The randomized, controlled study compared people receiving their normal care from a physician to people receiving care through group visits with their regular physician over one year. Caregivers were also included in the study.
Those receiving their usual care had 30-minute appointments with their physicians every three to six months. The group visits lasted 90 minutes and were held every three months. They included introductions, updates from patients, and an educational session on a topic chosen by the participants. Time was allotted for questions from patients or caregivers, and individual 10-minute appointments with the physician were scheduled for before or after the group visit for individual concerns.
Of the 30 study participants, 27, or 90 percent, completed the study, along with 25, or 93 percent of the 27 participating caregivers. At the end of the study, there was no difference between those receiving usual care and those participating in the group visits in how they rated their overall quality of life.
Participants were asked whether they preferred the group visits or usual care at the end of the study. Of the 14 receiving group visits who responded, eight preferred the group setting, five preferred usual care, and one was indifferent. Of those receiving usual care who responded, five preferred group visits, six preferred usual care and three were undecided. None of the participants reported any confidentiality issues.
Study author E. Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said group visits have the potential to address limitations of support groups and traditional doctor visits.
“While both support groups and traditional visits have clear benefits, a survey of people with Parkinson’s showed that they desire a credible group leader for their support groups and more information for them and their caregivers about their disease,” he said. “Group visits can address these limitations. They also give physicians the opportunity to observe their patients for a longer period of time and appreciate disease characteristics such as fluctuations in their symptoms and daytime sleepiness that may not readily be appreciated during a routine 20- to 30-minute office visit."
Dorsey noted that group visits may pose logistical issues, such as the need for a large room and scheduling difficulties. He said that the risk that the lack of a one-on-one examination could lead physicians to miss subtle problems could be resolved by using a hybrid model alternating group and individual appointments.
Stephen G. Reich, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, who was not involved in the study and wrote an accompanying editorial, noted that the study participants all had mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease, suggesting that people with more advanced disease may be less willing to forgo individual appointments.
The study was supported by a grant from the National Parkinson Foundation.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 24,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/AANChannel
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy