Current Content
Volume 36 - Number 2
March/April 2010

Health Professional Expectations for Self-Care Skill Development in Youth With Spina Bifida
Rachel Neff Greenley

The author examined expectations for the development of self-care skills for youth with spina bifida (SB) among a multidisciplinary group of health professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other professionals. Ninety-seven professionals from U.S. SB clinics completed a Web-based survey of expectations for youth attainment of bowel, bladder, and skin care skills. Professionals rated expectations for two hypothetical vignettes: a child with moderate SB severity and a child with greater severity. Most professionals believed that all skills were attainable by the end of elementary school in the moderate severity condition. Expectations for skill attainment in the severe condition were lower and significantly later (end of high school) than in the moderate condition. Professionals who treated more patients annually expected earlier bowel and bladder skill attainment. Findings highlight the importance of developing different timelines for nursing education of youth with moderate versus more severe condition impairment.