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Knowledge among physical education professionals about poliomyelitis and post-poliomyelitis syndrome: a cross-sectional study in Brazil

Authors de Lira CAB, Alves TM, Peixinho-Pena LF, Sousa BS, de Santana MG, Benite-Ribeiro SA, Andrade M, Vancini RL

Received 30 March 2013

Accepted for publication 26 June 2013

Published 9 August 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 41—46


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Claudio Andre Barbosa de Lira,1 Taíza Márcia de Almeida Alves,1 Luiz Fernando Peixinho-Pena,2 Bolivar Saldanha Sousa,3,4 Marcos Gonçalves de Santana,1 Sandra Aparecida Benite-Ribeiro,1 Marilia dos Santos Andrade,2 Rodrigo Luiz Vancini2

1Setor de Fisiologia Humana e do Exercício, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Câmpus Jataí, Jataí, 2Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 4Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil

Background: Post-poliomyelitis syndrome is a clinical condition that can affect poliomyelitis survivors with the onset of new symptoms several years after the acute disease. These symptoms include new muscular weakness, fatigue, pain, onset or aggravation of muscle atrophy, muscle cramps, onset or aggravation of pre-existing difficulties in accomplishing daily life activities, cold intolerance, sleep disorders, dysphonia or dysphagia, and respiratory deficiency. The treatment of post-poliomyelitis syndrome requires a multiprofessional health team because the rehabilitation procedures include lifestyle changes, physiotherapy, avoidance of secondary complications, and physical exercise. As physical exercise is prescribed by physical education professionals, the assessment of knowledge about post-poliomyelitis syndrome among these professionals is very relevant. The aim of this study was to evaluate poliomyelitis and post-poliomyelitis syndrome knowledge among physical education professionals in Brazil.
Methods: We invited participants with an academic degree in physical education (n = 217) to participate in this study. A self-administered survey (30 questions) was designed to probe knowledge about poliomyelitis and post-poliomyelitis syndrome. From the survey, we created a questionnaire to evaluate the performance of the professionals. The questionnaire was composed of 20 questions and a score was provided, varying from 0 (totally uninformed) to 20 (well informed).
Results: Approximately 73% of surveyed participants had never heard of post-poliomyelitis syndrome, and only 19.4% had received information about the disease. Among those surveyed, 61.8% did not know whether restriction of physical activities was warranted for people with poliomyelitis sequelae, and only 32.3% knew that physical exercise (especially intense exercise) should be limited for patients with sequelae of paralytic poliomyelitis.
Conclusion: The findings of the present study indicate a critical need for improvement of knowledge about post-poliomyelitis syndrome among Brazilian physical education professionals.

Keywords: post-poliomyelitis syndrome, knowledge, athletic trainers, physical education

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