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02.05.2020 | COVID-19 | COVID-19 Zur Zeit gratis

Self-reported needs of patients with Parkinson’s disease during COVID-19 emergency in Italy

Neurological Sciences
Tommaso Schirinzi, Rocco Cerroni, Giulia Di Lazzaro, Claudio Liguori, Simona Scalise, Roberta Bovenzi, Matteo Conti, Elena Garasto, Nicola Biagio Mercuri, Mariangela Pierantozzi, Antonio Pisani, Alessandro Stefani
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Because of COVID-19 outbreak, regular clinical services for Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients have been suddenly suspended, causing worries, confusion and unexpected needs in such frail population. Here, we reviewed the messages spontaneously sent by patients to an Italian PD clinic during the first two weeks of COVID-19 lockdown (9–21 March 2020), in order to highlight their main needs and then outline appropriate strategies of care for this critical period. One hundred sixty-two messages were analysed. Forty-six percent queried about clinical services; 28% communicated an acute clinical worsening for which a therapeutic change was done in 52% of cases; 17% (those patients with younger age and milder disease) asked about the relationship between PD and COVID-19; 8% informed about an intercurrent event. Our analysis suggests that PD patients’ needs during COVID-19 emergency include appropriate and complete information, a timely update on changes in clinical services, and the continuity of care, even in a remote mode. By addressing these issues, acute clinical worsening, complications and subsequent therapeutic changes could be prevented. In this perspective, telecommunication systems and virtual medicine should be implemented.

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