Patient Companionship in a Movement Disorders Clinic: Outside Assistance Inside the Office

Ana Vives-Rodriguez, Daniel Trujillo Diaz, Elan D. Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: We (1) report whether a companion (i.e., spouse, relative, aide) accompanied our consecutive outpatients with a range of movement disorders, (2) identified the set of patient characteristics that was associated with the need for a visit companion, and (3) characterized the role(s) of these companions during the visit. Our overarching goals were to further understand patient needs and the extent of their support networks, and to enrich the clinician-patient interface. Methods: Two-hundred consecutive patients were enrolled from the Movement Disorders Clinic at Yale School of Medicine. We noted whether patients were accompanied by another person during the visit and documented the role of the visit companion during the encounter. Results: One-hundred-twenty-eight of 200 patients (64.0%) brought a companion, with these being spouses (44.8%), adult children (24.1%) or an aide, nurse or social worker (14.5%). Patients who were unemployed (odds ratio [OR] = 5.32, p = 0.019), had a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease or other Parkinsonian syndromes (OR = 10.61, p = 0.001), or were dependent in any instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs) (OR = 4.99, p = 0.005) or basic activities of daily living (bADLs) (OR = 5.81, p = 0.02), had increased odds of presenting to the clinical visit with a visit companion. Visit companions' main roles involved communication (86.7%) and transportation (84.4%). Conclusion: Visit companions were commonly present during movement disorders outpatient visits–two-thirds of patients were accompanied. A number of factors increased the odds of requiring such a companion by 4- or 5-fold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number182
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - Mar 5 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Parkinson's disease
  • caregiver
  • essential tremor
  • movement disorders
  • visit companions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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