Impact of contractures on daily functioning in adolescents with spinal muscular atrophy: a qualitative study

I L B Oude Lansink*, J W Gorter, W L van der Pol, B Bartels, A Beelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: Exploring the impact of contractures in adolescents and young adults (AYA) with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) on daily functioning and participation and the impact of received contracture management.

METHODS: We included 14, non-ambulant AYA with SMA types 2/3 (10 females and 4 males), aged 16-30 years. Interviews focused on two topics: perceived impact of contractures on daily functioning and of previous contracture management. We used inductive thematic analysis for interview analysis.

RESULTS: In general, participants experienced muscle weakness to be more of a hindrance than contractures; they had adapted to their contractures over time. Participants considered contracture treatment useful when goals were meaningful and realistic. Participants mentioned that their perspective on contracture management would change in light of a promise of improved motor function due to disease-modifying treatment.

CONCLUSION: Despite the relatively low impact of contractures in comparison to the loss of muscle strength, non-ambulant AYA with SMA should be informed on the potential impact of contractures and benefits and potential adverse effects of their management. This information can support the shared decision-making process. While respecting individual choices, allows for incorporating interventions into daily life and the promotion of daily functioning and participation when children with SMA are growing up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2593-2599
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
Early online date3 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • adolescents and young adults
  • contractures
  • daily functioning
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of contractures on daily functioning in adolescents with spinal muscular atrophy: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this