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Physical therapy roles in community-based rehabilitation : a case study in rural areas of north eastern Thailand


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his action research aimed to explore how physical therapists could enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities via a community-based rehabilitation (CBR) strategy. The study was conducted in two rural sub-districts in northeastern Thailand. In each sub-district, several group meetings were arranged for persons with disabilities and their families, and various community members. Participants were encouraged to discuss their perception of problems of the current rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. Strategies to manage all problems were collaboratively identified and were implemented in order of priority according to the importance of the problem. The outputs of CBR were evaluated by interviews and observation. The findings revealed that physical therapists had numerous roles in CBR, depending on the community’s circumstances. They need a high degree of flexibility and a wide range of skills to contribute to CBR. The preparation of such physical therapists requires development of a more client-centered community-oriented education programme.



Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, Vol 20, No 1


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