Skip to main content

09-01-2011 | Parkinson's disease | Article

AAN releases quality care measures for Parkinson’s patients


Free abstract

MedWire News: The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) measures of quality care for patients with Parkinson's disease stipulate regular and wide-ranging reviews of patients' symptoms, medications, and treatment options.

To develop the measures, the AAN appointed a panel composed of experts in Parkinson disease and experts in measure development methodology. The resulting 10 quality of care measures are published in the journal Neurology.

The measures include asking patients about falls and sleep disturbances, and assessing them for psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and impulse control disorder.

"These symptoms can be overlooked but have a great impact on a person's quality of life," said lead author Eric Cheng (David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA).

The measures state that falls should be discussed at all visits, as should motor complications relating to Parkinson disease medication. The other eight measures should be implemented "at least annually."

Doctors should talk to their patients about safety issues, such as injury prevention and driving, and should query patients about autonomic dysfunction, such as postural hypotension, constipation and incontinence, and persistent erectile failure.

They should also assess patients for cognitive impairment.

In addition, doctors are required to review medical and surgical treatment options and to discuss rehabilitative options with their patients.

Finally, all patients should have a general review of their condition, including medications and the presence of atypical symptoms, at least once a year.

The authors note that the measures do not encourage specific medications, assessment tools, or treatment approaches.

"These measures leave clinicians with some flexibility within the evidence base in how the measures can be successfully completed," they say.

Cheng commented: "Quality measures like these will be increasingly important for extending the best care possible to people with neurologic disorders like Parkinson's disease."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Eleanor McDermid

Related topics