Factors associated with long-term functional outcomes and psychological sequelae in Guillain-Barre syndrome

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To examine factors impacting long-term health-related outcomes in survivors of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). Seventy-six consecutive patients with definite GBS admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital (1996–2009) were reviewed in the neurorehabilitation clinics. They underwent a structured interview designed to assess the impact of GBS on their current activity and restriction in participation using validated questionnaires: Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Perceived Impact of Problem Profile (PIPP) and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS). Their sociodemographic and disease severity data were obtained from the medical record. The 76 patients [60% male, mean age 56 years, median time since GBS 6 years (range 1–14 years)] showed good functional recovery (median motor FIM score 90). However, 16% reported moderate to extreme impact on their ability to participate in work, family, and social activities; and 22% substantial impact on mood, confidence and ability to live independently. More reported moderate to extreme depression (18%), anxiety (22%) and stress (17%) compared with the normative Australian population (13%). Factors associated with poorer current level of functioning and wellbeing included: females, older patients (57+ years), acute hospital stay (>11 days), those treated in intensive care and those discharged to rehabilitation. No associations were found between the Medical Research Council (MRC) Motor Scale Rating scores at admission, nor time since GBS diagnosis (≤6 vs. >6 years) on outcomes used. Conclusion: GBS is complex and requires long-term management of psychological sequelae impacting activity and participation.

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