Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients with PD

By Dr Naureen Khalid, ST Geriatric Medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust



To understand how pandemic-related restrictions have impacted on the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and how service improvements could help.


A previous survey by Lancaster University found that reduced access to exercise during the pandemic had impacted the lives of some people with PD; that many had not been offered an alternative to face-to-face appointments; and that half had received less care during the restrictions.

This project concluded that indoor and outdoor exercise plays an important role in physical and mental health, and that PD patients are at high risk of worsening motor and non-motor function during this time.

Key findings

A telephone survey of 15 patients found that:

  • 30% experienced worsening motor symptoms during the pandemic
  • 30% experienced depression and 35% experienced anxiety
  • 55% found a telephone consultation useful
  • 20% preferred to exercise outside
  • 15% would like face-to-face clinics


The aims for service development include:

  • Delivering an exercise schedule leaflet by post, email, or WhatsApp to patients
  • Encouraging exercise during every telephone call