Outcome of physiotherapy as part of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation in an unselected polio population with one-year follow-up: An uncontrolled study
Merete Bertelsen, Susse Broberg, Ellen Madsen
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of physiotherapy as part of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation.
Design: Prospective uncontrolled intervention study. Subjects: Fifty patients with late effects of polio, first time referred to physiotherapy at the Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims (PTU) Rehabilitation Centre.
Methods: The intervention was physiotherapy as an essential part of an individually planned multidisciplinary rehabilitation. The outcome measures Six-Minute Walk Test and Timed-Stands Test were used to assess the functional capacity. Quality of life was evaluated by Medical Outcome Survey Short Form (SF-36) and fatigue by Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20). Patients were tested at baseline; 3 months after the start of rehabilitation and at one-year follow-up.
Results: The patients showed significantly better functional capacity on all measurements 3 months after start of intervention and at one-year follow-up. The patients showed significant improvement in 3 of the SF-36 dimensions regarding quality of life, but only the improvement in “general health” remained after one year.
Conclusion: This study shows that patients with late effects of polio, who experience new problems related to polio, can benefit from an individually planned multidisciplinary intervention with emphasis on physiotherapy, and the improvement in physical capacity and general health can remain at one-year follow-up.
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