Back to Journals » Research and Reviews in Parkinsonism » Volume 7

Descriptive symptom terminology used by Parkinson’s patients and caregivers

Authors Mursaleen LR, Stamford JA, Butterfield T, Edwards G, Kustow P, Kustow PA, Griffith S, Dudgeon GMK, Dudgeon MG

Received 28 April 2017

Accepted for publication 28 August 2017

Published 1 November 2017 Volume 2017:7 Pages 71—78


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Peter Hedera

Leah R Mursaleen,1,2 Jon A Stamford,1,2 Tim Butterfield,2 Gaynor Edwards,2,3 Penny Kustow,2 Paul A Kustow,2 Simon Griffith,2 Gilly M K Dudgeon,2 Mike G Dudgeon2

1The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, London UK, 2Parkinson’s Movement, London, UK, 3Spotlight YOPD, Rye, UK

Background: The ability to accurately describe symptoms is a critical facet of patient–physician interaction and represents both a conduit and a barrier to diagnosis and treatment.
Objective: The objective of this study was to discuss the range and breadth of symptom description to provide insights into symptom complexity, patient interest and understanding, as well as possible communication barriers between the patient and the physician.
Patients and methods: Using a synthesis of information from an online survey of 407 people with Parkinson’s and a focus group of 7 people with Parkinson’s and 3 care partners, we examined the descriptors used by patients and carers to describe a range of motor and nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.
Results: We found that patient descriptors were more extensive generally for nonmotor than motor symptoms, and that the terminology used to describe neuropsychiatric symptoms was particularly detailed and extensive.
Conclusion: Since many nonmotor symptoms are not visible and require interrogation by physicians and articulation by patients, these are areas of particular vulnerability in the patient–physician communication loop.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, symptoms, communication, cognition, symptom language, symptom terminology, symptom descriptors, neuropsychiatric terms

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]