Personalized Telemedicine for Depression in Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Trial

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High rates of depression are observed in Parkinson’s disease, and limited access to care complicates management. The purpose of this pilot project was to evaluate the feasibility and impact of a personalized cognitive–behavioral telemedicine program for depression in Parkinson’s disease (dPD). Thirty-four individuals with dPD and their carepartners participated in this pilot study. A 10-module self-help workbook, tailored to the unique needs of the dPD population, was created to be used as either a stand-alone intervention, with minimal therapist support, or a supplement to formal telephone-administered cognitive–behavioral therapy sessions. Improvements in depression, anxiety, quality of life, sleep, negative thoughts, and caregiver burden were observed over the course of the 4-month study, independent of treatment modality (guided self-help vs formal telephone-based psychotherapy). Future research will utilize randomized controlled designs and continue to focus on delivery models that can improve access to this and other evidence-based mental health interventions for dPD.

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