Content » Vol 45, Issue 2

Short communication

Impact of pain on quality of life in patients with post-polio syndrome

Lars Werhagen , Kristian Borg
Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet Danderyd Hospital, SE-182 82 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1096


Objective: Post-polio syndrome is a neurological disorder occurring several years after an acute polio infection. The main symptoms are increased muscular weakness and atrophy, fatigue and pain. Pain is present more often in younger individuals and in females and, according to the visual analogue scale (VAS), the intensity of pain is relatively high. The aim of the present study was to analyse the impact of pain on quality of life in patients with post-polio syndrome.
Design: Transversal study.
Patients and methods: Patients with post-polio syndrome underwent a thorough neurological and general examination. They were interviewed about the presence and intensity of pain during the previous 3 months, then completed the quality of life inventory Short-Form 36 (SF-36), which included questions about pain during the previous 4 weeks, and rated their pain intensity during the previous 24 h according to the VAS.
Results: Seventy-seven of the patients (68%) experienced pain at the examination. Pain was found to have a significant impact on the SF-36 subdomains Vitality and General health. A correlation was found between pain during the previous 3 months, the previous 4 weeks, and the previous 24 h.
Discussion: Pain is common in patients with post-polio syndrome. Although patients have a high mean VAS score the pain only affects quality of life for Vitality and General Health, but not for other physical and mental domains.

Lay Abstract


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