Eur J Pediatr Surg 1995; 5: 12-15
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1066254
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Helping to Solve Problems Associated with Spina Bifida:
1. Presentation of the TRS Project: Organizing Services for Low Frequency Diagnostic Groups and
2. Cognitive Deficits Often Seen in Young Adults with Spina Bifida: Effects in the School and Work Place

M.  West , Lise  Fjeldvik , S.  Rand-Hendriksen
  • Counselling and Rehabilitation Center (TRS) at Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, N-1450 Nesoddtangen, Norway
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 March 2008 (online)


1. A Presentation of the TRS Project: Counselling and (Re)habilitation Center. A Model Project in Organizing Services for Low Frequency Diagnostic Groups

Persons with low frequency disabilities often require services from a number of professions. The patient organizations claim that the patients themselves often have to coordinate their own treatment.

The TRS project has been established as one of the initiatives under the Norwegian Government's Plan of Action for the Disabled. The project is one of three national projects designed to develop models for the coordination of services for persons with low frequency congenital disabilities.

The TRS project deals with the following five diagnoses: Marfan syndrome, arthrogryphosis multiplex congenita, myelomeningocele/spina bifida, osteogenesis imperfecta and congenital limb deficiency.

The project is based on patient (user) participation. The five patient organizations are represented on the board where they are in the majority. Patients along with professionals give lectures during group stays. The project offers its services to persons with the diagnosis from all parts of Norway (4.3 mill, inhabitants). Persons with spina bifida over 16 years are included in the project, as well as persons with the other diagnoses at all ages.

We present the organization of the project and the repertoire of services that are on offer.

2. Cognitive Deficits Often Seen in Young Adults with Spina Bifida: Effects in the School and Work Place

As survival rates continue to increase with the use of shunting procedures for persons with spina bifida (SB), the need for improved educational and vocational planning also increases. Ørbeck and Schanke (13) reported that the cognitive deficits of young adults with SB have not received enough attention in educational and vocational planning. A thorough description of these deficits will aid in developing more effective individualized planning. With improved planning, insight into alternative methods for improving support may also then be investigated. The purpose of this study is to better define and describe the cognitive deficits often encountered while planning support in the school and work place for this group. Neuropsychological examinations are the basis for this description of observed cognitive deficits. The study included 46 young adults with SB aged 15 to 38 living in Norway. All persons were given a neuropsychological test battery which included tests for attention, memory, speed of information processing, visual perception and visual constructive function, arithmetic, fine motor coordination, and verbal functioning. The results indicated deficits in fine motor coordination, speed of information processing, and a slow learning curve. The consequences of these deficits in educational and vocational planning are discussed and guidelines for further studies are suggested.