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J Neurosci Nurs. 2005 Aug;37(4):204-10.

Nursing time to program and assess deep brain stimulators in movement disorder patients.

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  • 1Health Sciences Centre, 3350 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada.


The use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia is increasing. Although some published literature describes the methods for DBS programming, the time and nursing requirements to run a DBS surgical program have not been examined previously. For this study, we prospectively recorded the time required for both assessments and programming of the DBS from the preoperative period to 1 year after surgery in a variety of patients. Results showed that the mean total time spent programming the stimulator and assessing these patients ranged from 18.0-36.2 hours per patient. It took twice as long to program the stimulator in patients with Parkinson's disease as it did in patients with essential tremor or dystonia. When setting up a program for movement disorders surgery, nursing time spent on patient assessment and programming should be considered in the workload.

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