Parkinson's Disease and Deep Brain Stimulation Have an Impact on My Life: A Multimodal Study on the Experiences of Patients and Family Caregivers
Journal Paper/Review - Sep 9, 2021
Chacón Gámez Yolanda María, Brugger Florian, Biller-Andorno Nikola
Parkinson's disease (PD) has a large impact on patients' physical and mental health, which also greatly affects their family caregivers. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as an effective treatment for PD, but different authors have expressed their concerns about the potential impact of DBS on personality and identity. Our study aims at better understanding how patients and family caregivers experience life with PD and DBS, the impact of both on their personal and social lives, and their perception of the changes that have occurred as a result of the disease and the treatment. Our study applies a multimodal approach by means of narrative semi-structured interviews and drawings. Seven principal themes have been identified: "everyone's Parkinson's is different", "changing as a person during the disease", "going through Parkinson's together", "DBS improved my life", "I am treated with DBS but I have Parkinson's still", "DBS is not perfect", and "being different after DBS". PD is perceived as an unpredictable and heterogeneous disease that changes from person to person, as does the effect of DBS. While DBS side-effects may have an impact on patients' personality, behavior, and self-perception, PD symptoms and drug side-effects also have a great impact on these aspects.