Rehabilitation – New Approach

February 2016: Wade, D (2016) Rehabilitation – a new approach. Part 4: A new paradigm and its implications. Clinical Rehabilitation, 30(2), 109-118.

Abstract: This editorial proposes changes in healthcare services that should greatly improve the health status of all patients with disability. The main premises are that: rehabilitation usually involves many actions delivered by many people from different organisations over a prolonged period; specific rehabilitation actions cover a wide range of professional activities, with face to face therapy only being one; and the primary patient activity that improves function is practice of personally relevant activities in a safe environment. This editorial argues that: rehabilitation should occur at all times and in all settings, in parallel with medical care in order to maximise recovery and to avoid loss of fitness, skills and confidence associated with rest and being cared for; hospitals and other healthcare settings should adapt the environment to encourage practice of activities at all times; and that measuring rehabilitation, whether in research or for re-imbursement, should not simply consider face-to-face ‘therapy time’ but must include: all the other important activities undertaken by the team; ‘structures’ such as the appropriateness of the environment; and a process measure of the time spent by patients undertaking activities.

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