Abstract

Importance: Caregivers play a critical role in facilitating the performance of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Knowledge on how occupational therapy practitioners can mitigate the negative effects of caregiving is needed to enable caregiver participation.

Objective: To explore the effectiveness of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice for caregivers of people with PD to facilitate or maintain their participation in the caregiver role.

Data Sources: We conducted a systematic review of the literature published in CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and OTseeker between 2011 and 2019. Article reference lists were also hand searched for additional articles.

Study Selection and Data Collection: Articles were screened and evaluated using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines. The review was conducted in accordance with steps outlined by the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Evidence-Based Practice Project.

Findings: Six articles met the inclusion criteria. Interventions in each article were distinct, prohibiting theme development. Overall, the strength of evidence was low, and the risk of bias was high. None of the studies included in this review were obtained from the occupational therapy literature.

Conclusions and Relevance: Little evidence is available to support interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice for caregivers of people with PD. Existing evidence suggests that interventions need to be flexible (e.g., in terms of time, cost, and delivery method) and tailored to the unique needs of this population.

What This Article Adds: There is a continued need to develop occupational therapy interventions that support participation in the caregiving role for caregivers of people with PD.

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