Kymberly Martin
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New polio awareness module for health professionals

The disability support agency, Spinal Life Australia, has created an online education module for GP’s that health professionals can complete as part of their ongoing continuing professional development (CPD).

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While there are not definitive figures, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Australians who survived polio infections in childhood years, only to experience a return of polio related issues as they aged. Many are living with a disability resulting from their childhood polio infections.

Spinal Life executive manager of member services, Ross Duncan told F2L the online module, believed to be one of the first such modules in the world for Late Effects of Polio (LEoP), was developed as a direct response to polio survivors requests. 

The module helps medical professionals increase their ability to:

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  • Describe the burden associated with the late effects of polio in the Australian population;
  • Identify patients experiencing the late effects of polio and assess the impact on the patient;
  • Implement management strategies within a multidisciplinary framework to reduce the burden of late effects of polio, and;
  • Access resource for supporting patients experiencing the late effects of polio.

In the first two months since the module became available through online education portal ThinkGP, over 100 medical professionals have completed the module and this number continues to increase.

“We encourage all polio survivors to mention the availability of the module to their health professionals,” Duncan said.

A brochure that is an accepted clinical resource by the RACGP is available for download at: https://www.spinal.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/19212-Post-Polio-doctor-resource-booklet-digital-version.pdf