Building evidence to support best practice specialist nursing services for people with Parkinson's disease in regional NSW

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


Research question: What is the value and impact of two specialist neurological positions in regional NSW for people with Parkinson’s disease, their carers and families?
Rationale: This project emerged in response to a request from Parkinson’s NSW to assist in building evidence to support advocacy for neurological nurses in rural New South Wales. The aim of the first stage of the project was to complete a literature review to provide a sound evidence base for Parkinson’s NSW to use in ongoing discussions with State and Federal Governments, and to identify research evidence supporting best-practice models of specialist community nursing care. To date, there is no Australian research evaluating neurological nurse positions in rural areas of NSW. This project addresses this gap in the research to support advocacy for people with Parkinson’s disease in rural communities.

Existing Literature:
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, neurodegenerative, incurable, complex and disabling neurological condition. Prevalence increases with age and is higher in rural areas. Disease progression is a major driver of costs and carer burden, with increasing risk of hospital and residential care admission and a need for specialist services. Integrated, specialist nursing care is largely absent in regional communities, leading to lower health related quality of life and poorer management of the condition compared to urban areas.
The recent literature review completed by the research team identified best practice neurological nursing models focused on improving quality of life through nurse-led clinics, early intervention strategies, specialist neurological assessment, technological advances such as telemedicine, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, support for family and carers and greater in-reach into acute facilities. Specialist primary nursing services that maximise the scope of the nursing role, are multidisciplinary and use the latest technological advances are more likely to be sustainable and cost effective for service providers and people with Parkinson’s in regional communities.
Study Design: The project utilises a two-site case study design to investigate and contrast the impact of two models of specialist nursing care currently funded by Parkinson’s NSW.
Study Participants: Study participants are specialist neurological nurses, consumers and carers and health care professionals who are engaged with the two nursing positions. Face-to-face interviews with up to 20 participants from consumers and carers and 10 health care professionals will be sought. Qualitative descriptive analysis of transcripts is planned.
Collaborators or other types of input from the network: We are currently seeking assistance for quantitative analysis of the economic impact of the two positions that includes indicators such as service usage (inpatient and outpatient) and length of stay.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018
EventWestern NSW Health Research Network (WHRN) Conference - Charles Sturt University, Orange, Australia
Duration: 16 Aug 201817 Aug 2018


ConferenceWestern NSW Health Research Network (WHRN) Conference
Abbreviated titleCelebrating Research Partnerships in the Bush
Internet address

Grant Number

  • 102336


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