A practical approach to the late effects of Polio
Poliomyelitis (polio or infantile paralysis), referred to in this text as polio, is a "forgotten" disease in the Western world. With the increased awareness of a second, previously unrecognised, phase of polio, postpolio support groups find it difficult to cope with the increasing number of enquiries without having access to an updated and comprehensive text on the subject.
People who require information on the late effects of polio have many concerns. The return of symptoms, many years after the acute infection, may create fear of a new attack of polio. Taking a step back, after years of apparent recovery, is often demoralising. Constant fatigue creates problems at work and at home. Some, who experience new symptoms, may refuse to accept the situation, denying themselves the treatment they need, thus worsening their situation. Yet others may ascribe all their health problems to the late effects of polio. Obviously, there is a need for some accurate and practical Information on this subject.
The Neurological Resource Centre of South Australia (Inc.) and the Post Polio Support Group of South Australia (Inc.) were given a grant by the Commonwealth Department of Community Services and Health to produce an information book on this subject for members of the Australian health professions. This work resulted in the collection of information which was also suitable for a "consumer" handbook.
It is hoped that this handbook will be of assistance to people who previously had polio and to all those who wish to obtain information on the acute polio infection and how it relates to the late effects of polio.
By reading this booklet, it is hoped that those who previously had polio can understand how to cope with the late effects of polio, whether they already experience symptoms or simply wish to learn about it in order to try to prevent its onset.
This handbook would not be available today, if the editorial board had not contributed in the following manner:
Heather Trenorden administered the project.
Trevor Anesbury chaired the editorial committee meetings and, together with George Moore and Peter Pascoe, gave practical advice based on their own experiences with polio and the late effects of polio.
Peter Pascoe and Heather Trenorden provided extensive help with editing and layout.
Lynette McDowell, from the Independent Living Centre in S.A., provided information relating to the section on Technical Assistance and Practical Advice and Ann Buchan, a physiotherapist with a special interest in the treatment of the late effects of polio, shared her experience in an area where the scientific literature provides scant information.
A special thanks to Neil Lillecrapp for his "personal touch" approach to the text and to Simon Kneebone for his illustrations.
A grant from the Julia Farr Foundation (Inc.) is gratefully acknowledged.
A separate book ("The late effects of polio - Information for health care providers" by the same author) is available free of charge for Australian health care providers. (Please see chapter 15.) Some of the text in "The late effects of polio - Information for health care providers" has been used in this booklet with minor or no modification.
Sometimes the term "the late effects of polio" has been shortened in the text to "LEOP".
Figures in brackets are found throughout the text. These are references to pertinent scientific articles which support some of the information in the text. You will find a list of these references at the back of the handbook.
© Copyright The Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network 1997 - 2010.
This document comprises an index, introduction and sixteen other sections or subdocuments. Permission for printing copies is granted only on the basis that ALL sections are printed in their entirety and kept together as a single document.
Document preparation: Chris
Think-tank, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Created: 30th December 1997
Last modification: 20th January 2010.