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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2010, Article ID 432983, 6 pages
Research Article

Medication Timing Errors for Parkinson's Disease: Perspectives Held by Caregivers and People with Parkinson's in New Zealand

1Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2Parkinson's New Zealand, Wellington 6142, New Zealand

Received 23 June 2009; Accepted 27 August 2009

Academic Editor: K. Ray Chaudhuri

Copyright © 2010 Stephen Buetow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Common but seldom published are Parkinson's disease (PD) medication errors involving late, extra, or missed doses. These errors can reduce medication effectiveness and the quality of life of people with PD and their caregivers. Objective. To explore lay perspectives of factors contributing to medication timing errors for PD in hospital and community settings. Design and Methods. This qualitative research purposively sampled individuals with PD, or a proxy of their choice, throughout New Zealand during 2008-2009. Data collection involved 20 semistructured, personal interviews by telephone. A general inductive analysis of the data identified core insights consistent with the study objective. Results. Five themes help to account for possible timing adherence errors by people with PD, their caregivers or professionals. The themes are the abrupt withdrawal of PD medication; wrong, vague or misread instructions; devaluation of the lay role in managing PD medications; deficits in professional knowledge and in caring behavior around PD in formal health care settings; and lay forgetfulness. Conclusions. The results add to the limited published research on medication errors in PD and help to confirm anecdotal experience internationally. They indicate opportunities for professionals and lay people to work together to reduce errors in the timing of medication for PD in hospital and community settings.