Canadian Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease – Celebrating the First Year!

The Clinical Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease allows doctors and patients to make the best care and treatment decisions together.
The Clinical Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease allows doctors and patients to make the best care and treatment decisions together.

When Parkinson Society Canada (PSC) set out to create the Canadian Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease with the help of Canadian experts, the goal was to give health care professionals from across the country a set of standards to diagnose and treat cases of Parkinson’s with consistency. PSC also wanted to empower people with Parkinson’s by presenting evidence-based treatment options and information so individuals can participate in their care decisions with their doctor and other specialists.

Since the publication of the guidelines in July of 2012 countless doctors, nurses and people with Parkinson’s have benefitted from this informative resource.

“The guidelines tell patients what options are available to be able to discuss with their doctor. It is a dialogue, rather than one-sided. Patients need to understand range of drugs, side effects etc.,” said Dr. Susan Fox.

The Canadian Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease also works as a bridging tool between doctors and their patients. The guidelines promote a person-centred approach to care and call for open communication between health care professionals and patients to increase the quality and effectiveness of treatment plans.

“The guidelines offer recommendations on treatment options in addition to medication such as the role of physiotherapists, speech language therapy and occupational therapy to help manage Parkinson’s symptoms. These treatment options give the person control in managing their Parkinson’s; for example, they can choose the type of physical activity that suits them and improve their overall quality of life,” added Barbara Snelgrove, Director of Educational Programs with Parkinson Society Canada.

The guidelines also help doctors deliver the information to their patients in an effective manner. When using the guidelines health care professionals are asked to consider:

  • Style, manner and frequency of communication that is compassionate and respectful
  • Ease of access for those receiving information in a timely and appropriate manner throughout the progression of Parkinson’s
  • Honesty and sensitivity in tailoring information to meet changing medical needs
  • Encouragement of self-management by people with Parkinson’s to meet individual needs and preferences
  • Inclusion of caregivers who are also affected by Parkinson’s and require information and support

“The guidelines may assist in what drug options are available and which are the best and safest to use. It may also advise the non-expert on drugs they are not aware of and give them confidence to be able to treat patients,” said Dr. Fox.

“The guidelines are a valuable resource because they set a standard of best practice for all health care professionals,” added Snelgrove.

For more information on the Canadian Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease please visit the clinical guidelines website and download your free copy or contact Barbara Snelgrove at Parkinson Society Canada.