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Vol 11, No 1 (2012)
Original articles
Published online: 2012-11-02
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The impact of rehabilitation on the functioning of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pilot study

Anna Pyszora, Andrzej Karnowski, Małgorzata Krajnik
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2012;11(1):15-26.

open access

Vol 11, No 1 (2012)
Original articles
Published online: 2012-11-02

Abstract


Background.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurologic disorder during which results in a progressive deterioration of motor function. Rehabilitation is one of the elements of symptomatic treatment in patients with ALS. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of rehabilitation on the functioning of ALS patients in terms of daily living activities.
Material and methods. Ten ALS patients participated in this pilot study. The study involved completing a questionnaire by the patient. The questionnaire consisted of 5 parts: general information of the patient, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS), the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale — Modified Version (HADS-M) and the part assessing the impact of rehabilitation on the patient’s functioning.
Results. Most patients reported that rehabilitation was helping them breathe, reduced pain and improved sleep quality. An improvement in mental state was also observed in most patients. According to the responses provided by the patients, the treatment often led to hardly any or no improvement at all in terms of such activities as: walking, walking up and down the stairs, writing or preparing meals.
Conclusions. Rehabilitation should be an element of symptomatic treatment provided to patients with ALS, at least because it has been shown to improve their mental state, although in many cases therapy has very little effect overall. The information provided in this paper may be of value for carers and physiotherapists working with the patients, as it may enable them to increase the effectiveness of their decisions to improve the patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Abstract


Background.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurologic disorder during which results in a progressive deterioration of motor function. Rehabilitation is one of the elements of symptomatic treatment in patients with ALS. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of rehabilitation on the functioning of ALS patients in terms of daily living activities.
Material and methods. Ten ALS patients participated in this pilot study. The study involved completing a questionnaire by the patient. The questionnaire consisted of 5 parts: general information of the patient, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS), the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale — Modified Version (HADS-M) and the part assessing the impact of rehabilitation on the patient’s functioning.
Results. Most patients reported that rehabilitation was helping them breathe, reduced pain and improved sleep quality. An improvement in mental state was also observed in most patients. According to the responses provided by the patients, the treatment often led to hardly any or no improvement at all in terms of such activities as: walking, walking up and down the stairs, writing or preparing meals.
Conclusions. Rehabilitation should be an element of symptomatic treatment provided to patients with ALS, at least because it has been shown to improve their mental state, although in many cases therapy has very little effect overall. The information provided in this paper may be of value for carers and physiotherapists working with the patients, as it may enable them to increase the effectiveness of their decisions to improve the patients’ comfort and quality of life.
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Keywords

ALS; rehabilitation; physiotherapy

About this article
Title

The impact of rehabilitation on the functioning of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pilot study

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 11, No 1 (2012)

Pages

15-26

Published online

2012-11-02

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2012;11(1):15-26.

Keywords

ALS
rehabilitation
physiotherapy

Authors

Anna Pyszora
Andrzej Karnowski
Małgorzata Krajnik

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