A holistic and integrated approach to Parkinson’s care

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Over the coming months, we will be sharing highlights from research supported by the Parkinson Canada Research Program. In this first installment, you’ll hear from Dr. Sarah Lidstone whose specialist training was funded by our Clinical Movement Disorder Fellowship. This is one of the only publicly available funding opportunities that allows doctors to pursue specialized training in the field of movement disorders, like Parkinson’s. Dr. Lidstone’s work looks at a holistic and integrated approach to Parkinson’s care.

A Holistic and Integrated Approach to Parkinson’s Care

With both motor and non-motor symptoms heavily influencing Parkinson’s, it is important to look at the whole picture when offering care. That is the perspective Dr. Sarah Lidstone takes as the Director of the Integrated Movement Disorders Program (IMDP) at the University Health Network in Toronto. Her program uses a holistic approach to medical care for Parkinson’s. As Dr. Lidstone explains, “You can’t rehab the body without taking into account things like anxiety, grief, and depression, and low motivation, which are common in Parkinson’s.”

In 2018, Dr. Lidstone was funded by Parkinson Canada’s Clinical Movement Disorder Fellowship. During her fellowship, she learned about multidisciplinary care and different approaches to building an integrated clinic. Five years later, Dr. Lidstone’s program is available, via referral, for patients at the Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorders Clinic. And it is already having positive impacts. Martha Johnson recently went through the program and describes a person-centred approach where the healthcare team tailored Martha’s program goals to her unique Parkinson’s experience. “Anxiety was identified as a concern, so the therapy focused on that aspect of my mental and physical well-being. They addressed my condition from angles like breathing exercises, mental state, and many movement techniques to improve my quality of life,” says Martha.

Parkinson Canada is proud to drive research that improves care for Canadians with Parkinson’s. Follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter at www.parkinson.ca to see future videos in our research series.