Helpful articles on aspects of living with PD


A patient diary is a handy way of communicating your condition to your doctor or nurse on a day-to-day basis without you seeing them.

As Parkinson's Disease progresses, your medication regime may become quite complex, and so a recorded patient's diary is an invaluable tool for a Doctor or Nurse for when you see them in the outpatients’ department.

A patient diary is a small diary style booklet, which the patient uses at home or in hospital to record what tablets they are taking and at what time. It can monitor your response to medication on an hourly basis and show how good or bad your Parkinson's is according to your symptoms i.e. the On / Off's, dyskinesias, tremor or muscle stiffness.

Throughout the day you can then mark down how you are either on an hourly basis or just before you go to take another tablet, depending on what symptoms or side-effects you want to monitor.

In the diary at the top of each page there is a column in which you write the name of each tablet and the time it was taken at. At the bottom of each page there is another column to record how you are at that time, for example if your tremor is bad or if you have muscle stiffness or if your Parkinson's is at its best or worst.

A diary is available from your Consultant or Parkinson's Nurse.

Your Doctor may adjust your tablets from time to time and this may upset your routine until things smooth out. Though you may only see your Consultant in his clinic an average of every 6 months, you will now have a record to show your consultant of how you have been. He/she then can make – if this is needed - another slight adjustment to your schedule of tablets in order to fine tune your response.

There is no need to record every single day in the diary in between visits to your doctor, but if you have a full week or even seven individual days recorded, it will give him a good indication of how you are getting on. It is a good idea to pick a week that you won’t be too busy to record your diary on a regular basis.

When you start a new tablet or increase the dose, bear in mind that it may take up to 4 - 6 weeks before you see the true benefit, so you may need to be patient!

A patient diary is also handy to have when a Nurse Specialist or Doctor is assessing a patient's routine during the day. The diary can show that not only the dose of a tablet may need to be adjusted, but sometimes, more importantly, the timing – how often you take it.


Remember a diary is available from your Consultant or Parkinson's Nurse, so just ask for one on your next visit.