chronic illness, disability, Parkinson's disease, quality of life, wellness



  1. Giroux, Monique L. MD
  2. Farris, Sierra PA-C


Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that impacts critical domains of daily living. Movement, autonomic, cognitive, and behavioral problems can significantly impair quality of life. In addition, medical treatment is complex and its progressive course requires long-term care. Given this, it represents a model disease to study with reference to healthcare strategies aimed at improving quality of life for chronic debilitating illness in our aging society. This article will examine the evolution of care for PD, beginning with the medical model, followed by a rehabilitation model. Finally, a patient-centered approach is presented that explores concepts of wellness in the setting of illness, and individualizes personal management rather than primary symptom treatment. This divergence from disease-centered to patient-centered care allows this approach to be generalized to the care needs of society's aging population that live with functional disability or chronic illness.