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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011 Jul;17(6):440-5. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Hospitalization in Parkinson disease: a survey of National Parkinson Foundation Centers.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5316, USA.



To explore current practices and opinions regarding hospital management of Parkinson disease (PD) patients in specialized PD Centers.


Fifty-one out of 54 National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) Centers worldwide completed an online survey regarding hospitalization of PD patients.


Many Centers were concerned about the quality of PD-specific care provided to their patients when hospitalized. Primary concerns were adherence to the outpatient medication schedule and poor understanding by hospital staff of medications that worsen PD. Few Centers had a policy with their primary hospital that notified them when their patients were admitted. Rather, notification of hospitalization came often from the patient or a family member. Several Centers (29%) reported not finding out about a hospitalization until a routine clinic visit after discharge. Quick access to outpatient PD care following discharge was a problem in many Centers. Elective surgery, fall/fracture, infection, and mental status changes, were identified as common reasons for hospitalization.


There is a perceived need for PD specialists to be involved during hospitalization of their patients. Improvement in communication between hospitals and PD Centers is necessary so that hospital clinicians can take advantage of PD specialists' expertise. Education of hospital staff and clinicians regarding management of PD, complications of PD, and medications to avoid in PD is critical. Most importantly, outpatient access to PD specialists needs to be improved, which may prevent unnecessary hospitalizations in these patients.

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