To evaluate a newly developed education programme for Parkinson's disease (PD) patients.
The programme consisted of eight sessions and aimed at improving knowledge and skills related to self-monitoring, health promotion, stress management, depression, anxiety, social competence, and social support, all with special reference to PD. The programme was formatively evaluated in seven European countries (Spain, Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Estonia, Germany) with 151 patients diagnosed with idiopathic PD. The evaluation included patients’ ratings of the comprehensibility and feasibility of the programme as well as mood ratings before and after each session. Patients also completed questionnaires at the beginning and end of the programme to explore possible changes in disease-related psychosocial problems, quality of life, and depression.
The programme was feasible to run, and patients were able to understand its elements. Patients reported mood elevations following individual sessions and reduced disease-related psychosocial problems after completing the programme. There were no substantial differences in results between cultures.
Patient education appears to have potential as a useful and feasible intervention, complementing medical treatment in PD.
The present programme will soon be available in seven European languages and can be tested in different health care systems.