Parkinson's Disease Support Groups in Rural America: Barriers, Resources, and Opportunities

Erin Bush, Reshmi Singh, Mary Jo Hidecker, Catherine Carrico
2018 The Qualitative Report  
People with Parkinson's disease who live in rural communities may lack information and support regarding their condition, compared to those in urban or suburban areas. For the study described herein, the researchers sought to gain a deeper understanding of support group experiences of rural Parkinson's disease stakeholders through merging an interpretive phenomenological design with Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR). Using this merged approach, we collected qualitative data from
more » ... focus groups to gain a community perspective. The qualitative data was analyzed thematically, first, and then further explored for an overall essence. The theme, Support Group Benefits: Opportunities for Communication expounded upon the importance of support groups to Parkinson's disease stakeholders. Barriers to Support Group Participation represented how the disease and the rural living conditions inhibited support group participation. Strategies to Improve Support Group Access demonstrated the different ways that the stakeholders had tried to overcome barriers and strengthen support groups. Notably, some participants discussed ways that support groups could increase their accessibility to more individuals with Parkinson's living rurally so that they endured as a future resource. The themes and accessibility recommendations that emerged led the researchers to interpret the overall essence of this work as, experiencing support group benefits despite barriers, leaving a legacy.
doi:10.46743/2160-3715/2018.3312 fatcat:spipgasx5bhotgt5vroyycz3k4