Filling the gap in service provision. Partners as family carers to people with Parkinson's disease: A Scandinavian perspective

Ellen Gabrielsen Hjelle*, Helle Rønn-Smidt, Anita Haahr, Silje Bjørnsen Haavaag, Dorthe Sørensen, Maria Victoria Navarta-Sánchez, Mari Carmen Portillo, Line Kildal Bragstad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore the expectations of and experiences with the public healthcare system of domestic partners of people with Parkinson`s disease (PD) in Denmark and Norway.

METHODS: A qualitative exploratory design was applied. The sample consisted of 14 people from Denmark (n = 9) and Norway (n = 5) living with a partner with PD. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted between June and September 2020, digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach combining inductive and deductive approaches.

RESULTS: The main themes were 'negotiating systems of support' and 'balancing being both a partner and a family carer'. Partners take responsibility for the people with whom they live and attempt to fill gaps in the public healthcare system. The most frequently described needs were more information, service coordination as the illness progressed and acknowledgement of the complex role.

DISCUSSION: A recommendation for practice is recognition of the complex roles of partners to people with PD and reaching out to both regularly to determine needs. This may enhance the collaboration between partner carers, people with PD and healthcare providers, ensure sustainability of the system and optimise living with PD in the family.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17423953231174470
JournalChronic Illness
Pages (from-to)258-270
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Parkinson's disease
  • family carer
  • caregiver burden
  • well-being
  • chronic illness


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