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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1996 Apr;38(4):325-34.

School-aged children with spina bifida in Western Australia--parental perspectives on functional outcome.

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  • 1Institute for Child Health Research, West Perth, Western Australia.


A questionnaire mailed to the parent(s) of all 86 school-aged children with spina bifida resident in Western Australia in 1992 who were attending a spinal dysfunction clinic or were members of the Spina Bifida Association was returned by 72 parents. All 72 of these children (55 with myelomeningocele, 17 with meningocele) lived at home with their parent(s). All but two children with meningocele were mobile without aids, whereas only 42% of the children with myelomeningocele were. Twenty one per cent of the children were naturally continent of urine day and night, and 36% were naturally continent of faeces. 76% attended a mainstream school although performance at school was rated below average for 40%. Nine children with meningocele (56%) and 42 with myelomeningocele (76%) were reported to have learning difficulties. This information will be useful in counselling parents of unborn and newborn children with spina bifida, and in allocating resources for children and young adults with spina bifida and their families.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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