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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2014 June;50(3):309-21

Copyright © 2014 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Do diagnostic differences between vegetative state and minimally conscious state patients correspond to differences in functioning and disability profiles? Results from an observational multi-center study on patients with DOC

Sattin D., Covelli V., Pagani M., Giovannetti A. M., Raggi A., Meucci P., Cerniauskaite M., Quintas R., Schiavolin S., Leonardi M.

Neurology Public Health and Disability Unit, Scientific DirectorateNeurological Institute C. Besta IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Patients in vegetative (VS) and minimally conscious state (MCS) have different degrees of consciousness recovery but both display severe levels of disability.
AIM: To describe and compare VS and MCS patients’ functioning and disability according to ICF model (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health).
DESIGN: Observational cross-sectional multi-center study involving sixty-nine Italian centers.
SETTING: Patients recruited in post-acute, long-term care facilities and at home in Italy.
POPULATION: Adult patients in VS and MCS.
METHODS: ICF Functioning profiles were completed and, for each ICF chapter and domain, extension and severity indexes were developed. Indexes have been compared between VS and MCS patients with Mann Whitney U test. Descriptive statistics have been applied to describe the most relevant categories that had a percentage of missing below 25% and that were reported as a problem by at least 50% of patients.
RESULTS: A total of 564 patients were enrolled: 396 in VS (mean age 56.8), 168 in MCS (mean age 54.2). Fifty-eight ICF categories were selected: of them, 24 were from Activity and Participation (A&P). Few differences between patients in VS and MCS were reported in Body Functions (BF), mostly referred to mental, sensory and digestive functions; among A&P, differences were found only in learning chapter. For VS patients less environmental barriers were reported than MCS patients.
CONCLUSION: Patients in VS and MCS have similar functioning and disability profiles and similar needs thus levels of care and assistance should not be different across the two conditions.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: An ICF-based methodology of data collection enables to describe VS and MCS patients’ functioning and disability: this is helpful when rehabilitation programs based on the features of single patients with DOC need to be planned.

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