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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


MUNOZ COBOS, Francisca et al. Polio and post-polio syndrome, viewed by patients and health professionals in primary care. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2018, vol.92, e201806035.  Epub 25-Jun-2018. ISSN 2173-9110.


Polio affects the quality of life of those who have suffered from it and causes health problems including the post-polio syndrome. The main goals of this work were to know the patients perspective of how they have been affected by the disease and establish the knowledge of post-polio syndrome among patients and primary health care professionals.


Interpretive qualitative research based on the Grounded Theory carried out in two health-care centers in the city of Malaga, one of them with care-rural clinics. Four focal groups were established with the participation of thirteen patients and two focus groups with twenty-six professional participants. Intentional sampling is performed until saturation. The analysis follows an inductive strategy using the Atlas Ti5.2 software.


The people affected by polio reports their personal histories of suffering counteracted by strong family support and an active coping attitude, marked by great effort exertion, willpower and endurance. These people made a positive assessment of their lives minimising the limitations. They presented compatible symptoms with post-polio syndrome, which remain unidentified due to the lack of knowledge of it among patients and health-care professionals. The health care provided was considered deficient due to several causes as for instance lack of involvement, communication problems.


The day-to-day polio experience is focused on personal overcoming with major roles played by family support, difficult relationships with the healthcare system and lack of knowledge of the post-polio syndrome.

Palabras clave : Post-polio syndrome; Poliomyelitis; Quality of life; Social support; Primary Health Care.

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