Introduction: Every year, about 400 new patients with tetraplegia arise in Poland. The solution ensuring the continuation of the rehabilitation process of such patients is the activity of non-governmental organizations associating disabled people. Among them Foundation of Active Rehabilitation (FAR) has greatest experience in rehabilitation of people after SCI. Annually, about 70 persons with tetraplegia participate in Active Rehabilitation (AR) camps.
Aim of this study was to estimate the influence of AR camps on the functional abilities in persons with tetraplegia.
Material and methods: 40 men with tetraplegia were examined. Subjects were divided into two groups: participants of AR camps (group A, n=20) and control (group B, n=20). The<bold />ASIA motor score was used to estimate the degree of upper limb impairment. Functional Independence Measure (FIM)<bold />was used to assess functional abilities. All subjects were assessed in the beginning of the study and reassessed after 8 days. Results: Both groups during preliminary investigation were homogeneous under regard the ASIA motor score as well as the results of FIM. During final investigations significant improvement of FIM was noted only in group A. The mean value of FIM significantly increased about 10.8 points. In group A significant correlation between FIM scores and ASIA motor score were found (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Improvement of functional skills among patients with tetraplegia which participated in AR camps was observed. The highest improvement in FIM was observed among persons with a C6 tetraplegia. Obtained results (ceiling effect) through of examined persons from C7 tetraplegia were suggested the need of applying more sensitive tests.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.