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

Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements

May be related to

  • parkinsonian changes in musculature
  • facial rigidity
  • use of antiparkinsonian drugs
  • inability to take in enough food
  • decreased level of consciousness
  • inability to absorb nutrients because of biologic or psychological factors from the aging process

Possibly evidenced by

  • inadequate food intake
  • weight loss
  • absent bowel sounds
  • decreased peristalsis
  • muscle mass loss
  • decreased muscle tone
  • changes in bowel habits
  • nausea
  • abdominal distention
  • lack of interest in food
  • fatigue from work of breathing
  • choking, coughing
  • rigidity of facial muscles

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will have an adequate nutritional intake with no weight or muscle mass loss.
  • Patient will maintain adequate nutritional status with the use of nutritional support and will experience no complications from support.
  • Patient will show no signs of malnutrition status.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient’s ability to eat.To provide information regarding factors associated with reduced intake of nutrients.
Weigh patient daily, on the same scale and same time if possible.Provides information about weight loss or gain.
Provide an unhurried environment during meal time.Patients with PD may have difficulty maintaining their weight as eating becomes a very slow process, requiring concentration due to a dry mouth from medications and difficulty chewing and swallowing.
Monitor weight on a weekly basis.To assess whether caloric indicates is adequate.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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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.
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