Psychosocial dysfunction in the first year after Guillain-Barré syndrome
In this investigation we study the impact of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) on psychological distress, depressive symptoms, and health status of patients during the first year after GBS. At 3, 6, and 12 months, patients were given the General Health Questionnaire, the Sickness Impact Profile, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Eighty-five patients participated. Psychological distress and depressive symptoms were present but improved between 3 and 6 months. At 12 months the psychosocial health status was still impaired. Patients who perceived their physical residua to be moderately to seriously disruptive and patients with muscle ache and cramps had worse scores on all scales. It can be concluded that most of the improvement occurred in the first 6 months. Psychosocial health status, however, was still impaired at 1 year, but depressive symptoms played no role. Treatment of muscle ache and cramps, and the disruptive effect of physical residua should be seriously considered.