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The Integrative Care of Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease, and it is characterized by a complex variety of both motor and neuropsychiatric issues. Effective treatment of PD symptoms requires a combination of pharmacotherapy and allied health therapies; however, treatment is generally monodisciplinary, with the neurologist referring out to varied therapists as needed. In order to more effectively manage PD as it progresses over time, clinics are beginning to implement and advocate the use of more integrative models of care for PD. In order to understand the effectiveness of these models, a comprehensive literature review was conducted through electronic searches of PubMed, Academic Search Premier, PsycINFO, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, AgeLine, AMED (Alternative Medicine), Health and Psychosocial Instruments, Health Source - Consumer Edition, and Social Work Abstracts databases. The review identified only two published studies, both of which only evaluated the effectiveness of multidisciplinary care in outpatient settings. The results of the studies indicated that multidisciplinary treatment led to marked improvement in patient outcomes; however, these results are limited as they measured short term outcomes only. The limited available evidence on the efficacy of integrative healthcare delivery models in PD should serve as a call-to-action for clinicians to work to improve the care, and subsequently the quality of life, of PD patients through streamlining PD-specialized care with multiple complementary clinicians and incorporating patient preferences and goals into treatment.