A practical approach to the late effects of Polio
When Mary Westbrook surveyed members of Australian post-polio support groups, she found that most people reported changes in activities of daily living (21). Examples are:
|Type of activity||Percent of respondents reporting decline|
|Meeting physical demands of job, household chores and daily activities||74|
|Walking on a level surface||55|
|Getting in and out of bed||32|
|Taking a shower or bath||31|
|Using the toilet||18|
Sixteen percent had retired early or obtained a pension. Of those who were currently employed, 42% had been forced to change jobs or modify their employment.
These figures may not be typical of the entire population of people who once had polio. Members of post-polio support groups may have been more severely affected by the disease and may have more severe residual problems and more definite symptoms of the late effects of polio than other post-polio people. They may also have become more aware of the range of symptoms and difficulties which may arise out of their previous disease. It is also possible that those who returned the questionnaire did so because they had more problems to report and were keen to provide information.
There are several other reasons to be cautious in the interpretation of such surveys, such as:
|-||The definitions of the various symptoms are vague. What
exactly is "fatigue" or "pain"? How does occasional severe pain compare
with moderate and constant pain?
|-||There is a lack of comparison with people of a
non-polio background but in similar circumstances. Perhaps some of
these symptoms are equally common in people who never had polio.
On the other hand, many different studies tend to report similar complaints, which probably means that this group of symptoms is a reality.
© 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.