|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