Post polio syndrome: Fatigued patients a specific subgroup?
Gunilla Östlund, Åke Wahlin, Katharina S. Sunnerhagen, Kristian Borg
Objectives: To examine the characteristics of fatigued and non-fatigued post-polio patients and to define potential subgroups across the fatigue continuum.
Design: Multi-centre study.
Subjects: A total of 143 post-polio patients were subdivided on the basis of percentile distribution into a fatigue group, a intermediate group, and a non-fatigue group, using the Multi Fatigue Inventory 20 general fatigue ratings.
Methods: Data on background, quality of life, fatigue and pain were collected. Descriptive statistics and correlations in each group and analysis of variance and χ2 for group comparisons were performed. Non-linear regressions were employed to evaluate differences in the strength of associations between physical and mental fatigue, on the one hand, and vitality on the other.
Results: The fatigued group was younger, had shorter polio duration, more pain, higher body mass index, lower quality of life and was more physically and mentally fatigued. A higher proportion of this group had contracted polio after 1956 and was under 65 years of age. Mental fatigue had a relatively higher explanatory value than physical fatigue for differences in vitality in the fatigued group, whereas reversed patterns were seen in the other groups.
Conclusion: Fatigued post-polio patients can be considered as a subgroup.