Rural & regional Australia: The case for specialist Parkinson’s nurse services

Rachel Rossiter, Marguerite Bramble, Vincent Carroll, Annabel Matheson, Rosemary Phillips

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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Approximately 28% of Australians currently reside outside of major cities and this number is expected to increase (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). However, 93% of neurologists are located in major cities. Consequently, access to specialist services for people with Parkinson’s disease living in rural and regional Australia is extremely limited. There is no national approach to ensure equitable access to neurologist and specialist nursing services for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This absence of a consistent approach to ensuring integrated specialist nursing services is especially apparent in regional and rural areas. Health related quality of life is worse in these areas, while management of PD is poorer when contrasted with that of people in urban areas.
Parkinson’s NSW partnered with nursing researchers from Charles Sturt University to undertake a staged project to build the case for the implementation of sustainable specialist Parkinson’s nurse services in rural and regional Australia.
Stage one utilised a four-stage integrative framework to guide an extensive literature review to identify evidence-based models of care specifically focused on the role of the community-based specialist neurological nurse caring for people with PD. Stage two employed a two-site case study design to investigate and contrast the impact of two models of specialist nursing care that are currently funded by Parkinson’s NSW. Interviews were conducted with people with PD, carers, health professionals and the two nurses. Yin’s 5-phases guided the qualitative analysis of the interview data with the findings from the literature review informing the interpretation of the data.
This presentation will provide a snapshot of stage one and report on the findings from the qualitative component of the two-site case study. Consumers and carers at both sites were unanimous in describing the positive impact of the specialist nurse position. However, the rigorous analysis informed by the literature review demonstrated the specific benefits of one model over the other. These research findings have relevance to both the wider Australian context and countries with similar geographical challenges. They are being utilised by Parkinson’s NSW to advocate for the implementation of specialist Parkinson’s nurse positions in underserved rural and regional locations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jun 2019
EventThe 5th World Parkinson Congress - Kyoto International Conference Center, Takaragaike, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto , Japan
Duration: 04 Jun 201907 Jun 2019 (program and abstracts)


ConferenceThe 5th World Parkinson Congress
CityTakaragaike, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Internet address

Grant Number

  • 102451


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