Adult life with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: observations among an emerging and unforeseen patient population

Pediatr Rehabil. Jan-Mar 2005;8(1):17-28. doi: 10.1080/13638490400010191.


The knowledge of adult life with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is sparse. The purpose of this study was to review existing information and describe body functional, social participatory and quality of life profiles of the ordinary adult Danish DMD patient. Sixty-five study subjects aged 18-42 years were included in a cross-sectional survey based on data from a semi-structured questionnaire comprising 197 items. The ordinary adult DMD patient states his quality of life as excellent; he is worried neither about his disease nor about the future. His assessment of income, hours of personal assistance, housing, years spent in school and ability to participate in desired activities are positive. Despite heavy immobilization, he is still capable of functioning in a variety of activities that are associated with normal life. He lacks qualifying education and he is in painful need of a love life. The frequency of pains is surprisingly high; nearly 40% has pains daily. The nature, magnitude, consequence and possible cure of these reported pains must be scrutinized. Parents and professionals, paediatricians not the least, must anticipate in all measures taken that the DMD boy grows up to manhood and will need competences for adult social life in all respects.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / psychology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Sexual Behavior