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

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Abstract

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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