Prolonged benefit in post-polio syndrome from comprehensive rehabilitation: a pilot study

Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(4):309-17. doi: 10.1080/09638280801973206.


Purpose: To report physical, psychological and functional outcomes from a pilot study of a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme for post-polio syndrome (PPS).

Method: Twenty-seven participants completed the nine-day programme and were available for re-assessment at three and six months. Physical outcome measures were muscle strength and endurance; psychological outcomes included illness perceptions (IPQ), depression and anxiety (HADS); functional outcomes were fatigue (HFS) and client-centred occupational performance and satisfaction (COPM).

Results: There was no significant change at six months for muscle strength or anxiety. Significant improvements were recorded for exercise endurance, depression and levels of fatigue. A shift towards an endorsement that the patient's own behaviour could be important in symptom severity of PPS was seen. Five out of 24 participants demonstrated significant clinical changes in occupational performance and satisfaction on the COPM.

Conclusions: Prolonged benefits were found for physical, psychological and functional outcomes. A qualitative study is planned to investigate the patient-reported benefits of attending the programme such as the support gained interacting with others with similar disability and in lifestyle adjustment such as pacing of physical activities.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / rehabilitation
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Fatigue / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / psychology*
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Sick Role