Cognitive function and performance of everyday activities in adults with spina bifida

Dorothee Riedel, occupational therapist and employee at the Spinalis Foundation, published an article on spina bifida and cognition in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Dorothee’s study shows that many people living with spina bifida have cognitive disabilities and do not receive the support from society they would need to live an independent life.

Please click to see the abstract.


“Individuals with spina bifida often have cognitive impairments, resulting in difficulties in performing their everyday life activities at home, in education, training and social life.

These difficulties are often not recognized, and the individuals do not receive the support they need from society.
This study investigated the relationship between cognitive impairments, school achievements and performance of daily life activities of 35 adults with spina bifida.

The study examined whether individuals had an intellectual disability, and whether they had completed compulsory education, and compared this with their cognitive function and performance in everyday activities.

The results confirm that individuals with cognitive impairments, even those without intellectual disabilities, often have considerable difficulties in school achievements, and performance of daily life activities, reducing their ability to live independently. “