Document Type

Case Report


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Degree Name

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2018


Laura Frey Law


Background: Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a condition resulting from the immune system attacking the myelin in the peripheral nervous system and can lead to acute peripheral polyradiculoneuropathy. While an acute condition, symptoms can persist long after neurological recovery has occurred. Unfortunately, the effects of these prolonged issues on the patient are often overlooked. Purpose: The purpose of this case report is to propose considerations for measuring outcomes during physical therapy for an individual diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in an outpatient orthopedic setting. Case Description: A 38-year-old male presented to physical therapy seven weeks after acute onset of clinically diagnosed Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The patient sought treatment for his right shoulder pain in addition to low back pain and generalized weakness. Interventions were focused on strength and neuromuscular control of his right shoulder, core and hip stability, and functional endurance for his generalized weakness. Outcome Measures: The QuickDASH, Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), and a functional outcome of returning to work were utilized to measure improvement during physical therapy. There was noted variability at re-assessments, resulting in difficulty determining improvement. The use of additional outcome measures for fatigue and quality of life were proposed, including the Fatigue Severity Scale and Medical Outcome Short Form-36. Discussion: There is need for future research to identify an outcome measure that accounts for the variability of chronic symptoms in Guillain-Barre Syndrome and their effect on the individual.


Guillain-Barre Syndrome; neurology; orthopedics; physical therapy; rehabilitation; outcome measures; QuickDASH


9 pages


Copyright © 2018 Sonja Gilbertson