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Purpose: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is an underutilized surgical therapy for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Both physician and patient hesitancies have been described as barriers to DBS, but specific perceptions of DBS have not been well characterized. To better understand DBS hesitancy, our objective is to pinpoint what specific concerns and fears our patient population have and use this information to enhance education for those contemplating DBS.

Methods: A 30-question survey assessing impressions of surgical therapy for PD was administered to PD patients seen at an urban movement-disorders clinic. Patients had not yet undergone DBS implantation or neurosurgeon consultation. Questions were developed by an interdisciplinary team based on prior studies and common patient impressions previously noticed by clinicians. The survey assessed three domains: reported surgical history, openness to hypothetical surgery, and perceptions of DBS.

Results and Conclusions: 102 patients completed the survey. The majority of patients thought that DBS is invasive (77%) and should be used only as a last resort (62%). Cost and insurance coverage were common concerns (53%). Eighty-two (80%) patients reported familiarity with DBS, with the majority having first heard about it from the internet. Sources of DBS information were not associated with willingness to undergo DBS, nor were they associated with impressions of DBS effectiveness or other DBS concerns (all p>0.05). These findings provide us with insight regarding patient hesitancy, helping inform clinicians patient’s direct concerns. Further, we can bridge gaps in patient education and improve educational materials moving forward.