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Am J Med Genet. 1998 Feb 7;81(1):4-12.

Social adjustment in adult males affected with progressive muscular dystrophy.

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Centro de Miopatias, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.


Adult male patients affected with Becker (BMD, N = 22), limb girdle (LGMD, N = 22) and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD, N = 18) muscular dystrophy were interviewed to assess for the first time how the disease's severity and recurrence risk (RR) magnitude alter their social adjustment. BMD (X-linked recessive) is the severest form and confers an intermediate RR because all daughters will be carriers, LGMD (autosomal-recessive) is moderately severe with a low RR in the absence of consanguineous marriage, and FSHMD (autosomal-dominant) is clinically the mildest of these three forms of MD but with the highest RR, of 50%. Results of the semistructured questionnaire [WHO (1988): Psychiatric Disability Assessment Schedule] showed no significant difference between the three clinical groups, but more severely handicapped patients as well as patients belonging to lower socioeconomic levels from all clinical groups showed poorer social adjustment. Taken together, myopathic patients displayed intermediate social dysfunction compared to controls and schizophrenics studied by Jablensky [1988: WHO Psychiatric Disability Assessment Schedule]. Since the items of major dysfunction proportion among myopathic patients concern intimate relationships (70%), interest in working among those unemployed (67%), and social isolation (53%), emotional support and social and legal assistance should concentrate on these aspects. Interestingly, the results of this study also suggest that high RRs do not affect relationships to the opposite sex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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