Scoping Review of Secondary Health Conditions fo People Aging with Post-Polio Syndrome

TitleScoping Review of Secondary Health Conditions fo People Aging with Post-Polio Syndrome
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2013
AuthorsMcNalley TE, Yorkston KM, Jensen MP, Truitt AR, Baylor C, Schomer KG, Molton IR, Verrall AM
Conference NameAmerican Public Health Association's (APHA) Annual Meeting
PublisherAmerican Public Health Association's (APHA) Annual Meeting
Conference LocationBoston, MA

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.