Physiotherapy and Guillain-Barré syndrome: results of a national survey

Ian Davidson, Charlotte Wilson, Timothy Walton, Shirley Brissenden

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    Abstract

    Objective: To discover the extent to which persons with Guillain-Barré syndrome receive treatment by a physiotherapist (as inpatients and outpatients), and to assess whether the amount of treatment received is related to outcome. Design: Survey method using self-administered questionnaires distributed through a national database. Participants: Members of the Guillain-Barré Syndrome Support Group (n = 1535). Main outcome measures: General patient data, general mobility, F-score, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Short Form-36 and Fatigue Severity Scale. Results: In total, 884/1535 (58%) complete responses were received. Nearly 10% of respondents had not received treatment by a physiotherapist in hospital despite their average functional level being the same as respondents who had received treatment in hospital. One-quarter of respondents said that they had not received treatment following hospital discharge despite the identification of relatively high levels of disability. Those who did not receive treatment by a physiotherapist following discharge were less severely disabled. This may indicate that physiotherapists tend to offer treatment to more severely disabled patients. The majority of patients reported disabling fatigue; whilst not statistically related to receipt of treatment by a physiotherapist, this highlights the importance of assessing fatigue in treatment plans to improve physical functioning. Conclusion: Improvements to policy and practice can be made by widening inpatient accessibility to treatment by a physiotherapist and increasing outpatient provision of treatment for patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome of all degrees of severity. Crown Copyright © 2009.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-163
    Number of pages6
    JournalPhysiotherapy
    Volume95
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009

    Keywords

    • Disability
    • Fatigue
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome
    • National survey
    • Physiotherapy

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