Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
Session and Year of Graduation
Frey Law, Laura
Background: Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare condition characterized by demyelination of the peripheral nervous system resulting from an erroneous attack by the immune system. Symptoms and complications develop rapidly and often result in significant functional impairments, which may persist beyond the acute phase of the condition. There is a currently a lack of evidence supporting the most effective early treatment interventions to facilitate a timelier return to function and decrease in long-term effects. Purpose: The purpose of this case report is to outline treatment interventions implemented within the inpatient rehabilitation setting to influence functional independence of a patient diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Case Description: A 49-year-old male was admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation facility two weeks after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. He presented with decreased functional status, fatigue, lower extremity weakness, impaired fine motor skills, and difficulty walking. The patient’s physical therapy goals were to increase strength, improve balance, and normalize walking so he could return to work. Interventions: Physical therapy interventions were focused on addressing functional mobility, cardiovascular endurance, gait training, balance, lower extremity strengthening, and patient/family education. Outcome Measures: The Functional Independence Measure was utilized to assess the patient’s level of assistance required to perform activities of daily living. Manual muscle testing was performed to measure the patient’s lower extremity strength improvement during physical therapy. Discussion: This case provides one example of notable improvements in strength, endurance, and functional abilities that occurred following four weeks of intensive inpatient rehab. Although the patient demonstrated progress and did not experience worsening symptoms during his inpatient stay, further research is needed to determine the most effective treatment interventions to facilitate return to function and diminution of associated sequelae.
Physical therapy; rehabilitation; Guillain-Barré Syndrome; inpatient; interventions; neurology; functional independence measure
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