Content » Vol 52, Issue 7

Original report

Self-reported impairments among people with late effects of polio: a mixed-methods study

Catharina Sjödahl Hammarlund, Jan Lexell, Christina Brogårdh
Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. E-mail: catharina.sjodahl_hammarlund@med.lu.se
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2706

Abstract

Objective: To determine how much people with late effects of polio are bothered by various impairments and their influence on everyday life.
Design: A mixed-methods design.
Subjects/patients: Seven women and 7 men (mean age 70 years) with late effects of polio.
Methods: Self-reported Impairments in Persons with late effects of Polio (SIPP) scale and face-to-face interviews. In SIPP, the participants rated, from 1 (not at all) to 4 (extremely), how much they had been bothered by late effects of polio-related impairments. Qualitative data were analysed using systematic text condensation. Each quotation was deductively analysed based on its conceptual representation regarding perceived influence on everyday life.
Results: Participants were most bothered by muscle and/or joint pain during physical activity, muscle weakness and general fatigue, which corresponded with the number of interview quotations. The impairments negatively influenced daily life, such as household chores, walking, riding a bicycle and social participation. Increased impairments and reduced functioning on the less-affected side also caused worry and distress.
Conclusion: Common late effects of polio-related impairments greatly affected participants’ activity and participation. By using both the SIPP scale and face-to-face interviews, an increased understanding of how late effects of polio-related impairments influence everyday life was achieved.

Lay Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore how much people with late effects of polio (LEoP) are bothered by various impairments and their influence on everyday life. Fourteen participants (7 men), mean age 70 years, participated. Face-to-face interviews and the Self-reported Impairments in Persons with late effects of Polio (SIPP) scale were used. In the SIPP, the participants rated how much they were bothered by their impairments, from 1 (not at all) to 4 (extremely). The interview data were coded with regard to the meaning of living with LEoP-related impairments. Each quotation was conceptually integrated with the SIPP ratings. Muscle and/or joint pain during physical activity, muscle weakness and general fatigue were perceived as most bothersome. The impairments, including the less-affected side, negatively influenced daily life, which caused worry and distress. The interviews complemented the SIPP ratings and improved our understanding of how LEoP-related impairments influence everyday life.

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