Design: Cross-sectional case control study.
Subjects: Patients without additional health problems that may induce fatigue were selected from among 82 polio survivors. Twenty-six patients with post-polio syndrome and 10 without post-polio syndrome were included. Control group consisted of 30 healthy volunteers.
Methods: We assessed presence and severity of fatigue by Fatigue Severity Scale, quality of life by Nottingham Health Profile, and impact of fatigue on quality of life by Fatigue Impact Scale. Leg muscle strength was measured by manual muscle testing.
Results: Strength of leg muscles showed no differences between the patients with and without post-polio syndrome. Patients with post-polio syndrome reported significantly higher levels of fatigue and reduced quality of life compared with both patients without post-polio syndrome and control group. Fatigue Impact Scale revealed that fatigue did not significantly impair mental health, but had a negative impact especially on physical and psychosocial functioning of the patients with post-polio syndrome.
Conclusion: Post-polio-related fatigue seems to be an important factor for further impairment of quality of life in polio survivors.