9 Parkinson’s Disease Nursing Care Plans


Parkinson’s disease, or paralysis agitans,is a progressing neurologic movement disorder that eventually leads to disability. It occurs after the age of 50 and increases in incidence with age. The disease affects more men than women and it’s the fourth most common neurodegenerative disease, with 50,000 new cases reported each year in the United States.

Parkinson’s disease is associated with decreased levels of dopamine resulting from destruction of pigmented neuronal cells in the substantia nigra in the basal ganglia region of the brain. Neuronal pathways project from the substantia nigra to the corpus striatum, where neurotransmitters are key to the control of complex body movements. The loss of dopamine stores in areas of the brain results in more excitatory neurotransmitters than inhibitory neurotransmitters, leading to an imbalance that affects voluntary movement.

Nursing Care Plans

The nursing goals for patients with Parkinson’s Disease include improving functional mobility, maintaining independence in performing ADLs, achieving optimal bowel elimination, attaining and maintaining acceptable nutritional status, achieving effective communication, and developing positive coping mechanisms.

Here are nine (9) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for Parkinson’s Disease:

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Disturbed Thought Process
  3. Impaired Verbal Communication
  4. Impaired Physical Mobility
  5. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  6. Impaired Swallowing
  7. Risk for Injury
  8. Ineffective Coping
  9. Deficient Knowledge
  10. Other Nursing Care Plans

Impaired Verbal Communication

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • physical barrier from hypertonicity from parkinsonism
  • rigidity of facial muscles
  • depression medications
  • psychological barriers
  • psychosis
  • depression
  • medications
  • psychological barriers
  • psychosis
  • decreased circulation to the brain
  • age-related factors
  • lack of stimuli

Possibly evidenced by

  • confusion, anxiety, restlessness
  • flight of ideas
  • inability to speak
  • stuttering
  • impaired articulation
  • difficulty with phonation
  • inability to name words
  • inability to identify objects
  • difficulty comprehending communication
  • dyslalia
  • dysarthria
  • inappropriate verbalizations
  • aphasia
  • dysphasia
  • apraxia
  • slurred
  • slow monotonous speech
  • high-pitched rapid speech, repetitive speech
  • facial muscle rigidity

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will be able to have effective speech and understanding of communication, or will be able to use another method of communication and make needs known.
  • Patient will be able to use assistive devices and techniques to improve the ability to communicate.
  • Patient will be able to speak in an understandable way possible when necessary.
  • Patient will be able to understand communication.
  • Patient will be able to exhibit minimal frustration and anxiety with speech attempts.
  • Patient will be able to make needs known utilizing nonverbal methods if required.
  • Family will be compliant and supportive of the patient’s attempt at communication.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient’s ability to speak, language deficit, cognitive or sensory impairment, presence of aphasia, dysarthria, aphonia, dyslalia, or apraxia. Presence of psychosis, and/or other neurologic disorders affecting speech.Speech disorders are present in most patients with Parkinson’s disease, this helps identify problem areas and speech patterns to help establish a plan of care.
Instruct patient to make a conscious effort to speak slowly, with deliberate attention to what they’re speaking. Remind the patient to face the listener, exaggerate the pronunciation of words, speak in short sentences, and take a few breaths before speaking.This helps establish a clear method of communication and speaking to the patient.
Monitor the patient for nonverbal communication, such as facial grimacing, smiling, pointing, crying, and so forth; encourage the use of speech when possible.Indicates that feelings or needs are being expressed when speech is impaired. Excessive mumbling, striking out, or non-verbalization clues may b e the only method left for the patient to express discomfort.
Attempt to anticipate the patient’s needs.Helps to prevent frustration and anxiety.
When communicating with the patient, face patient and maintain eye contact, speaking slowly and enunciating clearly in a moderate or low-pitched tone.Clarity, brevity, and time provided for responses promote the opportunity for a successful speech by allowing the patient time to receive and process the information.
Remove competing stimuli, and provide a calm, unhurried atmosphere for communication.Reduces unnecessary noise and distraction and allows the patient time to decrease frustration.
Use simple, direct questions requiring one-word answers. Repeat and reword questions if a misunderstanding occurs.Promotes self-confidence of the patient who is able to achieve some degree of speech or communication.
Provide a small electronic amplifier if necessary.Helpful if the patient has difficulty being heard.
Encourage patient to control the length and rate of phrases, over-articulate words, and separate syllables, emphasizing consonants.Helps to promote speech in the presence of dysarthria.
Avoid rushing the patient when struggling to express feelings and thoughts.Impaired verbal communication results in a patient’s feeling of isolation, despair, depression, and frustration. Compassion helps to foster a therapeutic relationship and sense of trust and is important for continuing communication.
Instruct patient and/or SO regarding the need to use glasses, hearing aids, dentures.Helps promote communication with sensory or other deficits.
Instruct patient and/or SO in the performance of facial muscle exercises, such as smiling, frowning, sticking tongue out, moving tongue from side to side and up and down.Promotes facial expressions used to communicate by increasing muscle coordination and tone.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

Disclosure: Included below are affiliate links from Amazon at no additional cost from you. We may earn a small commission from your purchase. For more information, check out our privacy policy.


See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to neurological disorders:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • This website has helped me so much with nursing interventions and now is helping me come up with interventions and understanding why because of the rationale

  • >