Survey of Health Care Workers Suggests Unmet Palliative CareNeeds in Parkinson’s Disease

Siobhan Fox, E Gannon, A Cashell, George Kernohan, M Lynch, C McGlade, Tony O’Brien, Sean S. O’Sullivan, Catherine Sweeney, Suzanne Timmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and previous training of Irish health care workers (HCWs) in palliative care in end-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD). A survey was distributed to HCWs, including neurologists, geriatricians, general practitioners, nurses, and allied health professionals, in acute and community settings in the Republic of Ireland. Three-hundred and six surveys were returned (32%average response rate). Most HCWs (90%) believed that people with PD have palliative care needs; however,76% of HCWs also said that these needs are “never” or only “sometimes” met. These unmet needs are reflected in relatively few people with PD being referred to specialist palliative care; 48% of hospital consultants had referred no patients in the previous 6 months, and just 7% had referred more than 10. Just 8% of the HCWs surveyed reported having any training on the palliative care aspects of PD, and 97%expressed an interest in receiving further education. Respondents wanted all topics pertinent to palliative care in PD covered, and many felt that they also needed further information on PD in general. People with PD are seen to have palliative care needs; however, the findings suggest that these needs are not being met.There is a discrepancy between best practice recommendations for palliative care in PD and the beliefs and practices of HCWs. Further education in palliative care in PD is needed to ensure better quality of care for people with PD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalMovement Disorders
Early online date27 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Apr 2015


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • Palliative care


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