Health and Support Services Access and Use by Persons with Parkinson Disease: An Alberta, Canada Case Study

Katharina KOVACS BURNS and Phyllis JENSEN

ABSTRACT

In Alberta, Canada, over 8500 people have Parkinson Disease (PD). While health and support services do not cure the disease, they help to maintain health status and quality of life, as well as delay or prevent costly institutionalization. In 2008, Alberta Health Services was created, shifting care to a more centralized delivery system. What is the impact? This Case Study explores this, utilizing a phased approach with mixed and multiple methods to survey and interview persons with PD, their caregivers, service providers and decision makers, and explore changes, if any, in the availability, accessibility and costs of health and support services. Survey, interview and focus group instruments were developed for each group. Participant recruitment was through various means. Limitations were noted in the study with sampling and access to participants across Alberta. Descriptive statistical analysis was used with quantitative data, and qualitative interview/focus group data was thematically analyzed. The results will be trinangulated to support identified satisfaction or challenges in services available and accessible by persons with PD and their caregivers as well as service providers. Recommendations are proposed from this case study. Knowledge Translation is far reaching including the application of this Case Study design and mixed methods approach.

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