Medicine Administration in People with Parkinson’s Disease in New Zealand: An Interprofessional, Stakeholder-Driven Online Survey
Medicine administration errors are twice as frequent in people with dysphagia than in those without. Medicine administration is particularly critical for people with Parkinson’s disease where late, or missed doses reduce medicine effectiveness and impact on the quality of life. The aim of this study was to explore the current medicine administration practices of people with Parkinson’s disease in New Zealand. A self-administered online survey was developed by an interprofessional group including people with Parkinson’s disease (the primary stakeholders), speech-language pathologists and pharmacists. The survey was administered using a cross-sectional study design and asked respondents about self-reported swallowing difficulties [using Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10)], medicine regimes and strategies used to swallow medicines. Seventy-one people with Parkinson’s disease responded to the survey (69% male, mean age 72 years, mean years with Parkinson’s disease 9 years). Respondents reported complex daily multi-medicine consumption (mean no. of pills 11, range 2–25). Analyses showed that 57% of respondents scored outside the normal range for EAT-10 (> 3) with 57% complaining of difficulties with pills. Many respondents admitted to missing medicines and requiring external reminders. Multiple strategies for swallowing pills were described including crushing tablets, using yoghurt or fruit juice, and swallowing strategies (such as head tilt, effortful swallow, chin down and altered pill placement in the mouth). Medicine administration is complex and challenging for people with Parkinson’s disease. The development of educational packages for people with Parkinson’s disease, their carers and health professionals is much needed.
KeywordsDysphagia Deglutition Medicine administration Parkinson’s disease Interprofessional
Thank you to People with Parkinson’s Inc, The Centre of Brain Research The University of Auckland, Neurological Foundation, and Parkinson’s New Zealand for support in circulation of the survey.
No funding source was involved in this research.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All the authors have no conflicts of interest and nothing to declare.
This study was approved by an appropriate national ethics committee (UAHPEC/018753) and all respondents provided written informed consent. All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration.
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