Palliative care in Parkinson’s disease: review of needs assessment tools

Edward W. Richfield, Miriam J. Johnson


Palliative care in Parkinson’s disease (PD) has developed significantly in the past five years. The presence of unmet palliative care need, similar to that in malignant conditions, is well established, but may not always be identified by clinicians in everyday practice. To address this, clinicians must be able to rapidly identify, triage, assess and address unmet needs and monitor response to intervention. This is also central to establishing integrated models of care for PD. Systematic evaluation of need can be facilitated by structured assessment tools, and several such tools have now been described for PD. This article reviews the palliative care assessment tools which have been developed for PD, both for patients and also for caregivers. It sets out the psychometric properties of these tools and describes the way in which they may be applied within an overall, systematic assessment of unmet need.