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Transitions and challenges for people with Parkinson’s and their family members: A qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Joy Read, Rachael Frost, Kate Walters, Remco Tuijt, Jill Manthorpe, Bev Maydon, Jennifer Pigott, Anette Schrag, Nathan Davies

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268588
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7 July
Accepted/In press2 May 2022
Published18 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Read et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


King's Authors


Objective To explore the experiences and challenges of people with Parkinson’s and their family members living in the community through the lens of their transitions to better understand the phases and changes in their lives. Design Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and analysed using codebook thematic analysis. Setting/participants Purposive sampling was used in primary and secondary healthcare services across Southern England in 2019 to recruit 21 people with Parkinson’s (aged between 45–89 years) and 17 family members (13 spouses and 4 adult children, aged between 26–79 years). Results Participants’ descriptions were classified in three main phases of transition from a place of health towards greater dependency on others: 1) ‘Being told you are a person with Parkinson’s’ (early), 2) ‘Living with Parkinson’s’ (mid), and 3) ‘Increasing dependency’ (decline). Seven sub-themes were identified to describe the transitions within these three phases: phase 1: receiving and accepting a diagnosis; navigating reactions; phase 2: changing social interactions and maintaining sense of self; information: wanting to know but not wanting to know; finding a place within the healthcare system; and 3: changes in roles and relationships; and increasingly dependent. Conclusion This study has identified points of change and means of supporting key transitions such as diagnosis, changes in social connections, and increased use of secondary healthcare services so that comprehensive, holistic, individualised and well-timed support can be put in place to maintain well-being.

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