ADVICE FOR GENERAL PRACTITIONERS
As a general practitioner, you may be involved in the care of a person with Parkinson's. The journey can take anywhere up to 25 - 40 years and a GP can be involved in the many stages.
Diagnosis: Many people report lengthy or confusing delays in diagnosis. The earlier a person is diagnosed the better. An early diagnosis allows a person to make decisions and transitions sooner and relieves the anxiety of knowing something is 'not right'.
If possible, arrange specialist referral before commencing treatment to confirm diagnosis and establish a management plan with the patient.
Early Stages: You or your team will be providing support to help patients manage their diagnosis.
Mid-stage: You many need to co-manage drug and non-drug management issues with a specialist and the care team. A persons with Parkinson's may be experiencing co-morbidities that require additional considerations.
Advanced: As a general practitioner you will be part of the group of supports around the person with Parkinson's who provide primary care which may include complex medication regimens, Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) review, General Practice Management Plans (GPMP) and nursing home patient management.
We have many information sheets on topics that would be relevant for a person with Parkinson's or their carers here.
In summary, for patients with Parkinson’s, optimal management relies upon early diagnosis and the ability of health professionals to recognise whether symptoms are well controlled. If issues arise, being aware of what steps should be taken when symptoms are not well controlled is important.
An online program is available on ACCRM and RACGP education platforms. This program is accredited for CPD points and can be found here. https://www.thinkgp.com.au/education/eqippd-e-quality-improvement-program-parkinsons-disease
ADVICE FOR PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
The www.physiotherapyexercises.com website enables physiotherapists to search for exercises including those appropriate for people living with Parkinson's and then compile them into individualised booklets for patients. The booklets can be exported in different formats including Word, HTML and PDF, and can then be printed, emailed or sent to patients’ mobile devices. The Physiotherapyexercises.com website is available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
GENERAL EDUCATION ON PARKINSON'S
Research Review Australia Pty Limited have published this informative Parkinson's Update as a part of their Educational Series.