A survey of post-poliomyelitis sequelae

Manifestations, effects on people's lives and responses to treatment

M. T. Westbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


An Australia-wide questionnaire survey was conducted of 318 people who contracted polio between 1907 and 1962. It examined their medical histories, post-polio symptoms, effects of these symptoms on respondents' lives, and treatments found to be effective or ineffective. The average respondent was experiencing increasing muscle weakness, pain and fatigue. These imposed major restrictions on daily living activities and resulted in fear and depression. Physiotherapists were the allied health professionals most likely to be consulted. Physiotherapy was rated as providing considerable or some relief by a relatively high proportion (80 per cent) of clients but it also attracted criticism primarily due to vigorous exercise programs that increased fatigue and weakness. Aspects of the care of people with late effects of polio are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Physiotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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