| Palliative Care  

Outpatient palliative care for Parkinson’s disease

Palliative care outpatient clinics, with a multidisciplinary team, helps patients with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders and their families


A randomised controlled trial of a palliative care out-patient clinic for people with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders has been undertaken – involving a neurologist, nurse, social worker and chaplain.   This approach was compared to a control group receiving care from a neurologist and the primary care services. Patients were seen in clinics, or by telemedicine, every 3 months. 210 patients and 175 caregivers were enrolled in the study. 


The results showed an improvement in quality of life for the patients attending the clinic at 6 months, compared to standard care. Caregiver burden did not show a statistically significant  improvement at 6 months.  Significant changes were seen for non-motor symptom burden and severity, advance directive completion, caregiver burden and anxiety at 12 months.  It appeared that the benefits were greater for patients with higher palliative care needs.


This study has shown that a palliative care multidisciplinary team approach in out-patients can improve both quality and life, symptoms and caregiver burden. The importance of palliative care for these patients is emphasised.


Key points:

  1. Palliative care outpatient intervention improved quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders
  2. The intervention favoured improvement in non-motor symptoms burden and severity, advance directive completion and caregiver burden
  3. The benefits were greater for patient with higher palliative care needs



Kluger BM, Myasaki J, Katz M et al. Comparison of integrated outpatient palliative care with standard care in patients with Parkinson disease and related disorders: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Neurology 2021; 77(5): 551-560.