Session Time: 1:45pm-3:15pm
Location: Exhibit Hall C
Objective: To characterize use of the Medtronic® DBS patient programmer among patients with DBS for movement disorders.
Background: Patients who undergo deep brain stimulation receive a handheld device that can be used at home to check settings or adjust therapy, but this is an underutilized resource. There have not been any published studies evaluating patients’ impressions of this device, commonly or uncommonly used features, or barriers to more frequent or effective use.
Methods: A 21-item questionnaire was developed, focusing on patient demographics, patterns of device use including frequency and common features, comfort level with the device and technology in general, and education on use of the device. Questionnaires were distributed to interested DBS patients before or during routine clinic visits and collected by office staff.
Results: To date, 17 (85% of those approached) of a planned 50 patients have completed the questionnaire; continued data collection is ongoing. In this preliminary group, patients tended to be male (64.7%), younger than 60 years old (58.8%), and have DBS for Parkinson’s disease (76.5%). Patients most frequently use their patient programmer once per month or less (76.5%), while 17.7% never do. There was no difference in frequency of use among younger versus older patients. Patients most frequently use the device to check DBS battery life (58.8%), or change therapy settings using groups (41.2%) or individual stimulation parameters (41.2%). Patients generally felt ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ comfortable with using the device (70.6% for the basic features and 75% for the more advanced features). Some thought they would benefit from refreshers on common features (35.3%) or a quick reference guide (23.5%), but many (35.3%) did not want or need further education. Patients were split on whether they would use a smart phone or tablet application more than the standalone device, with 47.1% ‘somewhat’ or ‘much’ more likely to use an application while 41.2% were neither more or less likely; there was no correlation with patients’ overall comfort level with these technologies.
Conclusions: In our preliminary data group, patients generally reported not using their DBS patient programmer much despite relative comfort with the device. With a larger sample size we hope to identify trends that could lead to better patient education and ultimately more frequent and effective use of this device.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:D. Whitney, J. Karl, G. Pal, D. Ocegueda-Ramirez, B. Ouyang, L. Verhagen Metman. Evaluating Use of the DBS Patient Programmer [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2017; 32 (suppl 2). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/evaluating-use-of-the-dbs-patient-programmer/. Accessed December 2, 2023.
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