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Data collection is a vital part of the EPDA’s work:

  • We have 25 years’ experience understanding people with Parkinson’s and their families’ unique journeys
  • No other Parkinson’s patient-led organisation can match the scale – or the authority – that we can
  • Our evidence is clear: people with Parkinson’s and their families are not receiving the standards of care that disease specialists recognise as being best practice.

European Inventory

The EPDA’s most recent major data collection activity is the European Inventory, the first phase of our multi-stakeholder My PD Journey initiative.  

The European Inventory research project was designed to identify gaps in Parkinson’s care and seek out national examples of good practice that could be adopted in other regions. It was completed by an independent research organisation and launched in Brussels in April 2015.

The research consists of primary (qualitative and quantitative) and secondary evidence across 11 countries.

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Move for Change

The EPDA’s Move for Change data collection project was carried out between 2010 and 2013, and is the largest online European patient survey on standards of care in Parkinson’s to date.

The three-part survey – featuring responses from people with Parkinson’s and carers from 35 European countries – was designed to identify areas of care falling short of the standards set by current clinical guidelines.

The results of the survey are available in a number of formats throughout this section of the website, but a great place to start is to download the booklet.

The booklet contains the key European results, which have been presented in easy-to-understand infographics.

The Move for Change research was authored by two eminent Parkinson’s specialists – Professor Bastiaan Bloem (the Netherlands) and Professor Fabrizio Stocchi (Italy). You can hear Prof Stocchi talk about the Move for Change project below.

Overall conclusions

The data highlights certain challenges that people with Parkinson’s still face surrounding living with their condition. These findings can assist healthcare professionals and decision makers in improving the level of care for people with Parkinson’s and their families across Europe.

Part 1: Diagnosis

The first Move for Change online survey (2010) determined whether people with Parkinson's across Europe were being “referred to a doctor with a special interest in Parkinson’s” and “received an accurate diagnosis”.

Consistent findings across the 35 countries surveyed revealed that:

  • only a minority of patients (12%) were actually referred to a Parkinson’s expert for their diagnosis
  • the diagnosis of the disease can take more than two years – despite clinical guidelines recommending that patients should be referred to a specialist for an accurate diagnosis within six weeks
  • the information people receive at the time of diagnosis is not well matched to their needs
  • nearly half of the people with Parkinson’s were dissatisfied with the way their diagnosis was conveyed. Many felt that they were treated abruptly or impersonally

You can read the full results from Part 1, which were published in the European Journal of Neurology.

Part 2: Access to support services

The second part of the Move for Change survey (2011) determined whether people with Parkinson's across Europe had “access to support services”.

Consistent findings across the 35 countries surveyed revealed that:  

  • the neurologist and family doctor are the most accessible healthcare professionals, but an increased understanding of Parkinson’s and its symptoms is necessary to treat a patient appropriately
  • the use of a multidisciplinary team and additional support services in the treatment and care of Parkinson’s has been shown to be beneficial and encouraged across Europe, but access to a number of allied health services – such as Parkinson’s disease nurse specialists – is limited

You can read the full results from Part 2, which were published in the European Journal of Neurology.  

Part 3: Continuous care and taking part in managing your disease

The third part of the survey (2012) determined whether people with Parkinson's across Europe were “receiving continuous care” and “taking part in managing their illness”.

 Consistent findings across the 35 countries surveyed revealed that:

  • consultations, although held on a regular basis, were largely routine and not arranged by the patient based on their needs
  • patient satisfaction levels increased with longer consultation meetings
  • although most patients felt they had been involved in decisions regarding their disease management, true shared decision making is still rare

You can read the full results from Part 3, which were published in the European Journal of Neurology. 

Occupational Therapy Survey

The EPDA carried out its Occupational Therapy Survey from 2008 to 2009. The survey evaluated the contribution occupational therapists make to the management of Parkinson’s on a daily basis.

The survey was translated into Norwegian, Swedish and Slovenian, and the results were published in the European Neurological Journal.

Download the results here

Real Life, Real PD Survey

The Real Life, Real PD Survey was a patient survey conducted across 31 European countries in 2007-08, supported by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

It focused on the realities of living with Parkinson’s both ‘day and night’, asking questions surrounding difficulties with daily activities such as eating and dressing, mood and possible impact on relationships plus sleep disturbances and emotional well-being. Almost 3,000 people from across Europe participated in the survey.

Download the results here

Participation in Life Survey

The Participation in Life Survey questioned nearly 7,000 people with Parkinson’s in 14 countries worldwide in 1998-99. It asked a range of far-reaching questions relating to the physical symptoms of the disease, problems associated with their treatments and emotional and psychological problems.

Download the results here

Global Parkinson’s Disease Survey

The Global Parkinson’s Disease Survey was, at the time, one of the largest surveys ever conducted on Parkinson’s. Carried out in 1997-98, it provided an in-depth and rigorous investigation into the factors affecting a person with Parkinson’s health-related quality of life.

It was a large, international and randomised survey that included perspectives from clinicians, patients and carers from six countries across three continents (Canada, Japan, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US) that had similarly developed health systems. The EPDA enrolled nearly 2,000 respondents: 203 clinicians, 1,020 patients and 687 carers.

The survey’s principal aims were to improve on the limitations of previous studies in order to better investigate and understand the factors that influence quality of life, and to identify those elements of disease management that have the greatest effect on the quality of life (in addition to disease stage, related disability and anti-Parkinson’s medication).

Download the results here

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