Object: The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional performance in children with spina bifida, using the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). A comparison was also made between the functional performance of children with myelomeningocele (MMC) and lipomyelomeningocele (LMC).
Methods and results: Twenty-six children with MMC and 37 cases with LMC were enrolled in this study. There was no significant difference in gender, age or method of birth delivery between these two study groups. The normative standard scores of PEDI for children with spina bifida were all below the mean standard scores found in non-disabled children, but still within the average range, with exception of mobility score in the MMC group. Patients' neurological level, walking ability, intelligence, independence in activities of daily living, and bowel function showed significant correlation with the PEDI scores ( P<0.05) in the children with MMC. In comparing these two disease groups, the MMC had higher neurological level, poorer walking ability and poorer bladder and bowel function than did the LMC ( P<.05). The former also had significantly lower PEDI scores in the mobility and social function domains. PEDI provided valuable information regarding overall functional performance in daily life for children with spina bifida.
Conclusion: This information is extremely important for planning a comprehensive and individualized rehabilitation program.