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Background: A multidisciplinary outpatient department was set up in the northern part of the Netherlands because of a local lack of adequate treatment and care for Huntington's disease (HD)patients. Outreaching multidisciplinary care is a novel way to optimise functioning and quality of life of HD patients. The vast majority of patients want to stay home as long as possible. Huntington's disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder leading to complete disability and long term residence in a specialised institution. In this paper we outline this new type of treatment and give the results of 1.5 year, we also present the results of an inquiry on the appreciation of the working method. Methods. In the first project half (1.5 yr) 28 patients were seen as had been anticipated. The multidisciplinary team consisting of an institutional physician, a psychologist, a speech and language therapist, a social worker, an occupational therapist and a case manager, assesses the stage of the disease and formulates, coordinates and implements the individual care and treatment plan in the home situation. After 1.5 year a questionnaire on the appreciation of the department was sent to patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, the lay organisation and Dutch "experts in the field". Results: For the 28 HD patients a total of 242 problems and actions were verbalised in the care plan, which was accepted by the majority of the patients. Especially informal caregivers, the lay organisation and the Dutch "experts in the field" were enthusiastic on the outreaching and multidisciplinary nature of the department. The verdict over the continuance of the clinic was positive and unanimous. Conclusions: We concluded that coordinating outreaching multidisciplinary care from an outpatient clinic into the dwelling place of the patient is feasible and appreciated. © 2011 Veenhuizen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Veenhuizen, R. B., Kootstra, B., Vink, W., Posthumus, J., Van Bekkum, P., Zijlstra, M., & Dokter, J. (2011). Coordinated multidisciplinary care for ambulatory Huntington’s disease patients. Evaluation of 18 months of implementation. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1750-1172-6-77