New €10M Study Looks to Improve Integrated Care for Parkinson’s Patients in the UK and Netherlands

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by Mary Chapman |

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The University of Bristol in England is leading a five-year, €10 million study aimed at finding ways to better integrate care for Parkinson’s disease patients while lowering costs, the institution recently announced. 

Over the course of the trial, the new care model is expected to be delivered to about 1,000 Parkinson’s patients in areas served by the Royal United Hospitals in Bath, England. At the same time, similar healthcare innovations will be implemented in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Titled Proactive and Integrated Management and Empowerment in Parkinson’s Disease (PRIME-PD), the trial will be led by Emily Henderson, MD, geriatrician at the Royal United Hospital and an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Bristol. 

Project partners include The Gatsby Foundation and Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

“The robust design and evaluation of this new conceptual model will ensure that any positive findings can be widely implemented to ensure that people living with the condition can benefit,” Henderson said.

Project methodology and evaluation will be led by the university’s Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration (BRTC) and Yoav Ben-Shalom, PhD, professor of clinical epidemiology.

BRTC designs and conducts randomized, controlled trials in patient care settings, as well as in schools and public health fields. It also conducts complex trials and feasibility studies that include methodological research, and provides collaboration and advice for researchers looking to develop and initiate new trials.

While a variety of healthcare providers typically support each Parkinson’s patient, according to the press release, collaboration can be inconsistent. As a result, patients may not get the right services at the right time to deal with disease symptoms.

By way of remedy, the project will craft and test a new model of proactive and cohesive care that hopes to better meet patients’ needs. It will be evaluated both for its ability to improve patient care and cost-effectiveness.

The model will build on the experience and infrastructure already in existence in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

 “The only way to overcome the current impasse in healthcare is to have two critical components at your disposal: firstly, adequate funding to cover the gap between the ideal model of care and what is currently reimbursed by national healthcare systems or insurers; and secondly, sufficient amount of time to scientifically demonstrate that the new concept works, as reflected by an improved quality of life for patients as well as cost savings for society,” said Bas Bloem, MD, PhD, professor of movement disorders in the neurology department of Radboud University.

With support from the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Trials Units Support Funding, the BRTC works with clinicians and researchers across the UK. Those interested in working with them may go here for information.