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Myelomeningocele: Need for long-time complex follow-up - An observational study

Journal article
Authors T. Bakketun
N. E. Gilhus
Tiina Rekand
Published in Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders
Volume 14
Issue 1
ISSN 2397-1789
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Keywords Adult, Disability, Meningomyelocele, Neurological disorders, Outcome, Rehabilitation
Subject categories Neurosciences


Background: Myelomeningocele (MMC) is a congenital disorder that causes a variety of acute as well as late complications. Numerous health problems in adulthood have been described by the persons with MMC but not studied in clinical setting. This study gives implications for organization of the follow-up in adulthood. Objectives: To investigate the need for follow-up from different medical specialists as well as the need for organized focused rehabilitation among adults with MMC. Methods: Retrospective cohort study on adults with MMC including multiple departments in a university hospital in Norway. The number and cause of specialized hospital consultations were recorded for every patient. Correlation between childhood health condition related to MMC and the need for specialized consultations in adulthood as well as correlations between number of consultations and anatomical level of MMC, age, and observation time was performed for the whole group. Results: In total, 38 patients had 672 consultations related to MMC. The most frequent departments were neurology, neurosurgery, urology, gastroenterology, and orthopedics. Most consultations were planned. Complexity of MMC-related health condition correlated to number of specialist consultations (rho = 0.420, p = 0.009). Anatomical level of MMC, age, and length of observation time did not correlate with consultations. Pain and shunt failure were the most common reasons for consultations. Conclusions: Persons with MMC have a need for continuous, life-long multispecialized follow-up and rehabilitation. This is crucial for optimal function, satisfaction with life, and for long-term survival. Systematic follow-up together with rehabilitation will optimize health service. © 2019 The Author(s).

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