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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2009 September;45(3):385-9

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Psychological distress in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Vinci P. 1, Gargiulo P. 1, 2, Panunzi M. 1, 3, Baldini L. 2

1 Italian Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Association Rehabilitation Service, Rome, Italy 2 School of Psychology 2, “La Sapienza”University, Rome, Italy 3 Department of Psychology, ASL RM H (National Health Service), Albano Laziale, Rome, Italy


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Aim. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a genetic neuropathy that causes variable degrees of gait and handgrip impairment, and reduces quality of life. The large majority of CMT patients are moderately affected and lead almost a normal life despite facing numerous difficulties and physical and psychological suffering. This study is aimed at investigating the possible presence of psychological distress in this population.
Methods. Fifty-three patients (F=30, M=23; age: 16-64 years; disease duration: 1-53 years), with variable gait and handgrip impairments but still able to ambulate independently, referred to a specialized rehabilitation service, and 53 sex and age matched controls were administered with the Kellner’s Symptom Questionnaire Italian validated version.
Results. The mean scores of patients, both as a whole and as divided in groups according to sex, age and lower limb impairment severity, did not differ significantly from those of controls (P>0.05).
Conclusion. Patients with CMT are able to cope with the problems caused by their disease without developing more psychological distress than unaffected subjects, probably as the result of a comprehensive adaptation, favoured by the long disease duration, relative mildness of symptoms, good cognitive functioning and availability of rehabilitative resources.

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