Describe polio patients visiting a polio clinic in Sweden, a country where vaccination was introduced in 1957.
A consecutive cohort study.
Prior polio patients.
All patients (n = 865) visiting the polio clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg Sweden, between 1994 and 2012 were included in this study. Data at first visit regarding patient characteristics, polio classification, data of electromyography, origin, assistive devices and gait speed as well as muscle strength were collected for these patients. Twenty-three patients were excluded because no polio diagnosis could be established. A total of 842 patients with confirmed polio remained in the study.
More than twenty percent of the patients were from countries outside the Nordic region and considerably younger than those from the Nordic region. The majority of the emigrants were from Asia and Africa followed by Europe (outside the Nordic region). Of all patients included ninety-seven percent (n = 817) had polio in the lower extremity and almost 53% (n = 444) had polio in the upper extremity while 28% (n = 238) had polio in the trunk, according to clinical classification of polio. Compared with a sample of the normal population, the polio patients walked 61-71% slower, and were 53-77% weaker in muscle strength of the knee and foot as well as grip strength.
The younger patients with polio emigrating from countries with different cultures may lead to a challenge for the multi professional teams working with post-polio rehabilitation and are of importance when planning for the care of polio patients the coming years.