Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie


MST NEUROLOGY: Bottlenecks in the case management of Parkinson’s disease - analysing the strategies, motives and decisions of involved health care professionals

Type of assignment:                    MA

Internal or external?                     External location: Medical Spectrum Twente Hospital, department 

                                                     of Neurology, Enschede

Maximum number of students:   2

Individual collecting of data?      Yes

Type of research:                         Qualitative

Background information: Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease and patients with PD need to take a variety of medications in order to manage the symptoms. The complicated medication schedules often lead to decreased medication adherence. A potential intervention for General Practitioners and pharmacists to enhance this, is by performing a structured medication review (SMR), defined as ‘a structured, critical examination of a patient’s medicines with the objective of optimizing the impact of medicines and minimizing the number of medication-related problems’. To date, following the official guidelines, community pharmacists should conduct a certain amount of SMR’s annually as part of standard care. Even with current strict patient selection criteria, this still appears to be a high burden of implementation capacity in primary care.

Given the complexity of PD and its treatment, suggests that a SMR might be of high value. In our ongoing multicenter randomized controlled trial, we assess the effect of a SMR on quality of life in PD patients. Half of them receives a SMR as one-time assessment at the start of the study. All pharmacists in the regions of Enschede, Hengelo, Almelo and Zwolle were personally approached and willing to cooperate. Nevertheless, the execution of these SMR’s during the trial takes way longer than previously was expected or did not even take place.

Factors that might describe and explain this paradoxical attitude of pharmacists from a psychological perspective will be of paramount importance, as this might lead to a structural improvement in the process of executing medication reviews and case management of PD.


Aim of the study: To obtain insight in motives and decisions of health care professionals related to complex case management in Parkinson’s Disease.


Methods: As a researcher involved in this study, you will perform semi-structured in-depth interviews with community pharmacists. The format of the interviews is already set up and these will be conducted till data saturation has been reached. After transcribing, coding and analyzing, the results will reported in the form of a concept scientific manuscript. The intention is to publish this in a scientific journal, which gives you the opportunity of being a co-author.


Since the execution of medication reviews in the current condition is one of the core principles of the Royal Dutch Society for Pharmacy, we attempt to contribute to a more efficient approach for this intervention in the future. In other words; you will have a significant contribution to a controversial part of primary health care.

Who are we looking for? Enthusiastic master student(s) with fluency in Dutch language.

What are we offering? It regards an already ongoing multicenter study with an approachable and motivated team supervising and assisting you. You will be focused on applied qualitative research in real health care settings, working together with health care professionals. You will get an introduction in Parkinson’s disease with the possibility to join the neurologist treating PD patients in the outpatient clinic, if preferred. Traveling expenses will be fully reimbursed if required.

More information: (PhD); (neurologist);

Supervisor: Dr. C. Bode, (BMS). Second supervisor: Prof.dr. J. van der Palen (OMD)