If you have Parkinson’s disease (PD) and have questions about functional ability and the disease process, a new collaboration between the Movement Disorders Clinic at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy may be able to help. The goal of the project, a study involving a series of educational sessions, is to develop and offer group education for people with PD and their care partners.

“Our goal is  to provide relevant education-based sessions focused on client needs to fill potential gaps in their continuum of care,” said Kathryn McKall, Occupational Therapist (OT) and study co-lead. McKall is joined by Denise Kendrick, another OT at DMCBH, and Dr. Susan Forwell, as well as two graduate students, who aim to offer more of the PD community occupational therapy in order to further align existing programs with the Canadian Parkinson’s Disease Guidelines.

The Guidelines state that “Consideration should be given to referring people who are in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease to an occupational therapist with experience of Parkinson’s disease for assessment, education and advice on motor and nonmotor symptoms,” and while the new role of OT in the clinic at  DMCBH aligns with those guidelines, this research project is designed to truly ensure that the OT program meets our community’s needs.”

“The content for the groups was developed using integration of the current literature, patient input, research trends, international programs, as well as clinical input,” said McKall.

Getting involved

UBC researchers from the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy are inviting people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners to participate in a study on Parkinson’s specific occupational therapy education sessions. The sessions will run during the week of March 30, 2020 to April 3, 2020 and will cover the following topics:

  • Thinking Skills for Parkinson’s (March 30, 2020)
  • Independence Through Using Adaptive Aids and Technology for Parkinson’s (April 1, 2020)
  • Managing Day-to-Day Symptoms of Parkinson’s (April 3, 2020)

These sessions will increase your understanding of the functional impact of Parkinson’s and provide you with an opportunity to learn strategies to manage the impact of Parkinson’s on your daily life.

To participate in this study, you will have to complete one questionnaire prior to your first session, attend at least one 90 minute education session, and complete two additional questionnaires upon completion of each session.

The Principal Investigator of this study is Dr. Susan Forwell (PhD, OT, FCAOT).

For more information on this study and to enrol, please contact Brianna Winckers (UBC Master of Occupational Therapy Student) by phone at 778-868-2315 or via email at b.winckers@alumni.ubc.ca with the subject heading GOT-PD: Group Occupational Therapy Education Series for Parkinson’s Disease.