Environment

Providing a comfortable, stress-free, environment is critical for patient compliance and retention regardless of a diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with PD; however, may be unable to tolerate stressful appointments because stress exacerbates tremors and uncontrolled movements.7,59,61 Providers who deliver care to patients diagnosed with PD should consider the patient’s ability to tolerate stress, walk, use the bathroom, and changes in temperature. Entering the office and operatory can be as taxing as the dental appointment itself. A wheelchair should be available to safely transport patients who have difficulty walking. Providers or office staff must be prepared to provide assistance to the patient when entering and exiting the building and accessing the operatory. A diagnosis of urinary incontinence often accompanies a diagnosis of PD. Providers or staff should be proactive and offer a “bathroom stop” prior to seating the patient.7,61 Individuals diagnosed with PD are known to have problems with thermoregulation.22 Offering a warm blanket, or adjusting the room temperature, can give comfort to the patient and decrease stress.