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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 62:637-640 doi:10.1136/jnnp.62.6.637
  • Research Article

Residual health status after Guillain-Barré syndrome.

  1. R A Bernsen,
  2. H M Jacobs,
  3. A E de Jager,
  4. F G van der Meché
  1. Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands.

      Abstract

      To study the extent to which patients experience residual problems in daily functioning several years after having Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) a survey of 123 patients who had had Guillain-Barré syndrome three to six years previously was performed, using the sickness impact profile (SIP) for measuring functional health status and a functional assessment scale (F score) for measuring physical condition. The patients were diagnosed according to the international criteria for Guillain-Barré syndrome and were at the time of diagnosis unable to walk more than 10 metres without support. The physical SIP score correlated positively with final physical recovery (Pearson's r = 0.79). The psychosocial SIP score indicated impairment in all patient groups compared with matched normal control values; they included the group with no, or mild, residual symptoms (P < 0.05). No relation was found between clinical variables related to the severity or duration of Guillain-Barré syndrome and residual psychosocial dysfunctioning, except for a relation with disturbance of sensation in the arms. In conclusion, in many patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome, psychosocial functioning is still seriously affected, even when they have physically recovered, or show only mild residual signs.

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