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Br J Prev Soc Med. Sep 1976; 30(3): 197–202.
PMCID: PMC478964

Degree of physical handicap, education, and occupation of 51 adults with spina bifida.

Abstract

51 adults with spina bifida, aged between 18 and 56 years, resident in South Wales, were interviewed in their home. Although only four had obvious hydrocephalus, one-third of them were severely handicapped and a further 40% had moderate handicap. Over half of them had had their secondary education in a normal school, with the remainder having special schooling or home tuition. Seventy per cent of the series was in normal, full-time occupation, including half those severely handicapped. Those in work were largely in managerial/technical, clerical, and light manual occupations. It is concluded that extendance and training, followed by special job placement, would help to integrate them into the community. These patients show that, in the absence of mental retardation, even severe physical handicap is no bar to normal occupation and that paralysis and incontinence alone are probably not valid selection factors for or against 'aggressive' treatment for spina bifida.

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