Online Program

Scoping review of associated health conditions in people aging with post-polio syndrome

Monday, November 4, 2013

Aimee Verrall, MPH, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kathryn Yorkston, PhD, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Carolyn Baylor, PhD, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Anjali Truitt, PhD, MPH, Institute for Public Health Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Katherine Schomer, MA, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Introduction. Post-polio syndrome (PPS), occurring in approximately half of people who previous contracted polio, is characterized by increased weakness, pain and fatigue. Although this orphaned condition was nearly eradicated world-wide in the 20th century, almost nothing is known about the trajectory of associated health conditions as people age or how these conditions can be distinguished from typical aging. An environmental scan of the literature was conducted to establish a platform of shared knowledge to better understand the needs of this population. Specifically, this review examined the types, frequency, timing of onset, and severity of associated health conditions in persons aging with or into PPS.

Methods. PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched for data-based articles about adults with PPS using a list of 76 chronic conditions. Articles were included that explored prevalence / incidence, severity, frequency, duration, or life course of associated conditions.

Results. Data were extracted from 57 articles. As expected, fatigue, pain, and muscle weakness were the most prevalent conditions. In addition, a number of other conditions were reported: respiration problems, depression, sleep disturbance, injurious falls, bone or joint problems, cardiovascular health, diabetes, bladder function, and skin problems.

Conclusion. A number of potentially treatable health conditions are common in people aging with PPS. The lack of longitudinal studies limits our ability to draw conclusions about age and duration effects. Such information is needed to guide home and community based services or care coordination delivered through the network of programs sponsored by the aging agencies.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Explain what post-polio syndrome is. Describe why post-polio syndrome is an orphaned condition and the implications of this. List 4 secondary conditions of post-polio syndrome.

Keyword(s): Aging, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the research manager of 2 large federally funded center grants focusing on the health and function, community participation, employment, and outcomes measurement of people aging with a physical disability and people living with multiple sclerosis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.