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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2017, Article ID 1939831, 7 pages
Research Article

Are Patients Ready for “EARLYSTIM”? Attitudes towards Deep Brain Stimulation among Female and Male Patients with Moderately Advanced Parkinson’s Disease

1Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
2Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
3Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, 90 187 Umeå, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Gun-Marie Hariz; es.umu@zirah.eiram.nug

Received 28 January 2017; Accepted 20 March 2017; Published 28 March 2017

Academic Editor: Hubert H. Fernandez

Copyright © 2017 Maria Sperens 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.


Objective. To explore, in female and male patients with medically treated, moderately advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), their knowledge and reasoning about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Methods. 23 patients with PD (10 women), aged 46–70, were interviewed at a mean of 8 years after diagnosis, with open-ended questions concerning their reflections and considerations about DBS. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed according to the difference and similarity technique in Grounded Theory. Results. From the patients’ narratives, the core category “Processing DBS: balancing symptoms, fears and hopes” was established. The patients were knowledgeable about DBS and expressed cautious and well considered attitudes towards its outcome but did not consider themselves ill enough to undergo DBS. They were aware of its potential side-effects. They considered DBS as the last option when oral medication is no longer sufficient. There was no difference between men and women in their reasoning and attitudes towards DBS. Conclusion. This study suggests that knowledge about the pros and cons of DBS exists among PD patients and that they have a cautious attitude towards DBS. Our patients did not seem to endorse an earlier implementation of DBS, and they considered that it should be the last resort when really needed.