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The experiences of carers looking after people with Parkinson's disease who exhibit impulsive and compulsive behaviours: an exploratory qualitative study

McKeown, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4183-5376, Saleem, T., Magee, C. & Haddad, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-4822-5482 (2020). The experiences of carers looking after people with Parkinson's disease who exhibit impulsive and compulsive behaviours: an exploratory qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, doi: 10.1111/jocn.15499


BACKGROUND: Impulsive and compulsive behaviours (ICBs) are a serious complication in Parkinson disease (PD) strongly associated with dopamine replacement therapy used to treat patients. These behaviours comprise abnormal activities such as pathological gambling, binge eating, compulsive shopping, and hypersexuality. These behaviours place a considerable burden on patients and on their carers and families. The aim of this qualitative study is to understand the experiences of carers who were confronted by the development of these behaviours.

DESIGN: An exploratory qualitative study.

METHODS: Using a convenience sampling approach, 13 carers were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted over the telephone. Verbatim transcripts were analysed used a thematic analysis approach. COREQ guidelines were adhered to in the reporting of this study.

RESULTS: Five main themes were identified: (1) realisation - developing awareness of ICB symptoms and their causes; (2) reacting - confronting and attempts to manage ICBs; (3) reaching out - help-seeking and selective disclosure; (4) reframing - shifting perspectives on ICBs over time; and (5) resignation - impact on relationships and facing the future.

CONCLUSIONS: The profound impact of ICBs on quality of life, relationships, and economic stability was clear in the carers' accounts. Possible avenues for future clinical research are suggested.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The potentially devastating effects of ICBs provide a strong imperative for nurses and other health professionals to ensure that close monitoring for symptom development together with patient education are always part of practice.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Clinical Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: carers, hypersexuality, impulsive and compulsive behaviour, Parkinson's disease, qualitative study
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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