Category: Allied Healthcare Professionals
Objective: To determine how the coverage of specialized allied health services for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) has developed in the Netherlands since the publication of trials that demonstrated cost-effectiveness.
Background: In the absence of preventive modalities for PD, the social and economic burden caused by PD is expected to rise further in the coming decades. Against this background, there is an urgent need to widely implement treatment modalities that have been proven to be effective for patients with PD. However, previous studies have demonstrated that it remains challenging to translate clinical trial findings into a sustainable implementation within everyday clinical practice.
Method: We used healthcare expenditure-based data on all insured individuals in the Netherlands to determine the annual proportion of patients with PD that received either specialized or generic allied health services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy) in two calendar years separated by a five-year interval (2012 and 2017). Specialized allied health services were delivered through the ParkinsonNet approach, which encompassed professional training and concentration of care among specifically trained professionals.
Results: The number of patients with any physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech-language therapist increased between 2012 and 2017. For each discipline, the number of patients with a specialized therapist showed a sustained rise. By contrast, the number of patients with a generic therapist increased only slightly (for occupational therapy) or decreased (for physiotherapy and speech-language therapy). By 2017, specialized care delivery had extended substantially to geographical regions that were poorly covered in 2012. Furthermore, for each discipline, we observed a sustained rise in the ratio of patients per specialized therapist.
Conclusion: Following the publication of positive trials, coverage of specialized allied healthcare delivery to patients with PD has extended considerably in The Netherlands between 2012 and 2017. The successful implementation of this specialized care approach on a nationwide scale can serve as a template to improve PD care elsewhere.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:S. Darweesh, M. Eimers, M. van Galen, M. Munneke, B. Bloem. From trials to clinical practice: Lessons from a specialized allied health implementation program for Parkinson’s disease [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2020; 35 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/from-trials-to-clinical-practice-lessons-from-a-specialized-allied-health-implementation-program-for-parkinsons-disease/. Accessed November 29, 2023.
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