Regular readers of the Injury Prevention blog will know that I frequently share articles, reports and other information that changes the way I perceived and/or understood various mechanisms of injury and their broader impact. Hopefully sharing my own experiences is useful to others, particularly if we share an epiphany-of-sorts. Today’s post is also enlightening for me as an injury prevention researcher: what about injury prevention in children of adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease?
I found a short article this morning that discussed just this issue. The recent commentary in Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics by Morley and Jenkinson highlights the need for greater understanding of the needs of adolescent children with parents who have Parkinson’s disease. Importantly the research has a broader scope than focusing upon supporting them in their carer role.
Numerous issues for the adolescent child are raised, including social and emotional development, fears for the future, and mental health to name a few. From an injury prevention perspective, professionals managing the diagnosed also need to manage their adolescent children if we are going to minimise potential harms for these vulnerable members of our community.
Rigorous research – which includes control groups – is required. Longitudinal research which can elucidate the long term impact upon the child, help identify families at greatest risk, and guide the development and implementation of effective interventions is vital. Cross-cultural research, and research focusing upon single-parent families in particular, is also required.