How can Parkinson’s disease nurses effectively communicate with patients?


Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 31 March 2022

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People with Parkinson’s can face difficulties communicating, with the condition often impacting speech and cognition. Now, a study by Australian researchers has suggested that healthcare professionals must get to know their patients as individuals to ensure effective communication.

As part of their study, researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with nine Parkinson’s nurses to learn more about the strategies they use when interacting with patients. The nurses described varied approaches, from using pictures to explain complex information, to offering patients tools, such as communication books and whiteboards, to help them express themselves.

“Communication is much enhanced when you’ve got that relationship with a person,” one nurse reported, with other results highlighting the importance of personalising communication strategies depending on patient needs.

The researchers wrote: “Understanding more about these skills could assist other health professionals… to improve communication and the quality of healthcare for those with Parkinson’s.”

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