Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Karen Hebert, PhD, OTR/L


Caregiving, Care Partner, Occupational Therapy, Parkinson’s Disease, Support, Quality of Life, Unmet Needs

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that can affect all aspects of life, requiring individuals with this condition to require support from a care partner. The extensive support PD care partners provide impacts their health and well-being resulting in an increased prevalence of negative health outcomes. Furthermore, these care partners do not receive adequate support which only compiles the effect of caregiving. The main goals of this capstone project were the development and implementation of a 4-week PD care partner support protocol, the creation of an electronic resource, and improving community awareness about PD and PD care partner needs. Protocol sessions occurred once a week and lasted for one hour. An average of 6.75 PD care partners attended the session to gain knowledge and support on the condition of PD and their own mental, physical, and emotional health. PD care partners reported that all topic sessions and the electronic resource were beneficial to their role as care partners by reporting an increased understanding of the information discussed after each session through completing a self-developed assessment. Subjective feedback from the community awareness event resulted in improved awareness of PD and local resources. Results from this project are supported by previous literature and the completed needs assessment. PD care partners experience greater support from interventions that are client-centered and holistic. Additionally, PD care partners are a marginalized group that currently does not receive the support that they need to meet the needs of individuals with PD. Occupational therapy can support the needs of PD care partners as the scope of this profession provides the necessary factors to support the unique needs of these care partners. The utilization of client-centered and holistic care is required to have a profound impact on PD care partners, which are key pillars of occupational therapy.



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