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March 2019

THE ADJUSTMENTS OF ADOLESCENTS TO POLIOMYELITIS A STUDY OF SIX PATIENTS

Journal/Book: Reprinted from THE JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS St. LOUIS. Vol. 45 No. 3 Pages 347-361 September 1954. (Printed in the U. S. A.). 1954;

Abstract: NANCY ARNOLD M.D.* NEW YORK N. Y. *Present address: The University of Minnesota Hospitals Minneapolis Minn. SUMMARY1. Those patients whose prepoliomyelitis personality was described as "persistent in pursuing their goals" have made the best recovery. 2. During the acute stage of poliomyelitis trivial incidents took an exaggerated significance. If these incidents were ignored by physicians nurses or parents the poliomyelitis victim became afraid to ask questions. 3. The reactions of anxiety fear and terror appeared two to six weeks after the onset of paralysis. 4. Patients and parents reacted to the illness in a manner appropriate to their cultural background. 5. The parents felt useless when the physiotherapist took over his task since they had reverted emotionally to being parents of a helpless infant. 6. In general the physicians set a definite Limit upon the amount of possible recovery; the physiotherapists emphasized slow constant gain. 7. The parents refuse to believe that their child will not recover completely; therefore five of these patients continue to receive physiotherapy three to eight years postpoliomyelitis. 8. The patients avoid association with other postpoliomyelitis people. They desire social acceptance and a personal feeling of body normalcy. ___MH


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