Health Services Research & Development

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Pontone GM, Dissanayaka N, Dobkin RD, Mari L, Marsh L, Vernaleo BA, Weintraub D, Mari Z. Integration and Extension of Specialty Mental Healthcare Services to Community Practice in Parkinson Disease. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. 2019 Jul 1; 27(7):712-719.
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Abstract: Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with a higher prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms compared with the general population. Symptoms such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, impulse control disorders, and cognitive impairment cause a greater worsening of quality of life than even the motor symptoms that define PD. Despite the ubiquity and impact of neuropsychiatric symptoms, specialty mental healthcare is not routinely available, accessible, or integrated in most neurology practices. Currently, training in PD-specific mental healthcare is not standard in most programs, and the need for subspecialty-trained, mental healthcare providers will only increase over time, as the prevalence of PD will more than double by 2060. Many barriers limit extension of mental healthcare into existing models of integrated or multidisciplinary care and the community at large. Foundations and professional societies have played an important role in raising awareness of mental healthcare needs in PD; however, their initiatives to promote integrated or multidisciplinary care have traditionally focused on disciplines outside of mental health such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy. This article examines these issues and suggests strategies to better address mental healthcare needs for PD patients in the future.