Organised by HI, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, the Ministry of Health of Guyana and CSEM. Participants discussed challenges and best practices to access quality rehabilitation services and inclusive health systems. The event highlighted the often side-lined role of rehabilitation in achieving SDG3 on health and wellbeing and its positive repercussions on many other SDGs. The lessons learned during the COVID-19 crisis were presented in the panel discussions, showing not only the relevance of rehabilitation for people affected by COVID-19, but also the need to maintain essential rehabilitation services operating during health crises
Congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), commonly known as clubfoot is one of the most common congenital conditions, affecting 1 in 800 births. Left untreated, it can lead to life-long impairment, impacting participation in society, education, and employment. Most children with clubfoot can be successfully treated with the Ponseti method, a low-cost, cost-effective, and minimally invasive treatment protocol. Despite progress, less than 1 in 5 children born with clubfoot in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) currently receive treatment.
Recommendations are made to increase this treatment rate.
Purpose: To present the process used to develop the low back pain (LBP) assessment tool including evaluation of the initial content validity of the tool.
Methods: The development process comprised the elements: definition of construct and content, literature search, item generation, needs assessment, piloting, adaptations, design, and technical production. The LBP assessment tool was developed to assess the construct “functioning and disability” as defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Involvement of patients and health professionals was essential.
Results: The elements were collapsed into five steps. In total, 18 patients and 12 health professionals contributed to the content and the design of the tool. The LBP assessment tool covered all ICF components shared among 63 ICF categories.
Conclusions: This study presents the process used to develop the LBP assessment tool, which is the first tool to address all ICF components and integrate biopsychosocial perspectives provided by patients and health professionals in the same tool. Initial evaluation of content validity showed adequate reflection of the construct “functioning and disability”. Further work on the way will evaluate comprehensiveness, acceptability, and degree of implementation of the LBP assessment tool to strengthen its use for clinical practice.
Background: The last decade has seen researchers and speech–language pathologists employ and advocate for a disability studies approach in the study of the lived experiences of people who stutter and in the design of interventions and treatment approaches for such individuals. Joshua St. Pierre, one of the few theorists to explore stuttering as a disability, mentions as a key issue the liminal nature of people who stutter when describing their disabling experiences.
Objectives: This article aimed to build on the work of St. Pierre, exploring the liminal nature of people who stutter.
Method: Drawing on my personal experiences of stuttering as a coloured South African man, I illuminated the liminal nature of stuttering.
Results: This analytic autoethnography demonstrates how the interpretation of stuttering as the outcome of moral failure leads to the discrimination and oppression of people who stutter by able-bodied individuals as well as individuals who stutter.
Conclusion: As long as stuttering is interpreted as the outcome of moral failure, the stigma and oppression, as well as the disablism experience by people who stutter, will continue to be concealed and left unaddressed.
Rehabilitation is described as a set of measures to optimise the functioning of individuals, and is important for wellbeing, participation and quality of life. Rehabilitation includes diagnosis, treatments, surgeries, assistive devices and therapies. Not all people who need rehabilitation are people with disabilities, and not all people with disabilities need rehabilitation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently estimated that 1 in 3 people globally (2.41 billion people) would benefit from rehabilitation: this number has increased nearly two thirds since 1990, due to population growth and increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In contrast, there are estimated to be less than 10 skilled rehabilitation practitioners per million population in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and only 5 – 15% of people in need of assistive devices are thought to have received them.
Evidence is reviewed and recommendations provided
Introduction: The western world is seeking increased implementation of assistive technology (AT) to meet the challenges of an ageing population. The objective of this study is to explore perspectives on AT use among home-dwelling older adults with or without cognitive impairment.
Methods: This study combines findings from a cross-sectional study with a questionnaire package (n = 83) and from qualitative individual interviews (n = 7) and is part of a larger study, the Assisted Living Project. Combining methods promotes complementary inquiries into a phenomenon.
Results: The participants already use ATs: TVs, social alarms, mobile phones, stove timers, electronic med- ical dispensers, PCs and tablet computers. They were both optimistic and skeptical of AT, and expressed different perspectives and expressed different perspectives on ATs in relation to usability, privacy and fear of losing personal face-to-face care.
Conclusions: This study reveals that older adults’ perspectives on AT are multifaceted and complex, and can partly be explained by the interacting factors in the HAAT model: person, technology, environment, and context. Further exploration in relation to older adults with health challenges, as well as ethical per- spectives on AT implementation, is required for this group.
Introduction: Spinal cord injury may seriously affect sexual health and sexuality, which can lead to lower self-esteem, social isolation, lower quality of life, and an increased risk of depression. Nurses play an extensive role in providing patient education. However, a gap between the patients’ need for information and the lack of information provided by nurses still exists. Therefore, knowledge about barriers and facilitators regarding discussing patient sexuality is necessary.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 nurses working in Spinal Cord Injury rehabilitation in one clinic in the Netherlands. The following themes were discussed during the interviews: (1) attitude, (2) social factors, (3) affect, (4) habits and (5) facilitating conditions.
Results: Addressing patient sexuality was difficult due to the nurses’ attitude and their environment. Sexuality was considered important but respondents were reserved to discuss the topic due to taboo, lack of knowledge, and common preconceptions. Participants expressed the need for education, a clear job description, time and privacy.
Conclusion: Nurses consider discussing patient sexuality as important but are hindered due to multiple factors. Organizational efforts targeted at knowledge expansion are needed to break the taboo and remove preconceptions. Nurses should provide opportunities to discuss the subject to intercept sexuality-related problems.
Purpose: The quality of life (QOL) of meningioma clients in Indonesia is poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate and examine the factors associated with the QOL of these meningioma clients after surgery, in order to help create an appropriate post-operative nursing intervention.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study. The QOL data was collected from a sample of 118 clients, using a EuroQol-5D-5L (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire. Functional status, fatigue, illness perception and social support were assessed by the Barthel Index, FACIT-Fatigue Scale, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, and Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey-6, respectively. Statistical analyses were conducted using the Chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and logistic regression test.
Results: After surgery, more than half of the 118 clients reported “ problems” in the EQ-5D dimensions of mobility (65%), self-care (57%), usual activities (70%), pain/discomfort (84%), and anxiety/depression (70%).The average postoperative EQ-5D index value (±SD) was 0.55 ± 0.26 while the median of EQ-VAS was 69.2 (IQR 40–90).Factors related to low QOL were age (p = 0.014), tumour grade (p = 0.0001), functional status (p = 0.0001), fatigue (p= 0.001), illness perception ( p = 0.0001), and social support (p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the most dominant factor associated with QOL was functional status (OR 6.728; Confidence interval=95%; p=0.008).
Conclusion and Implications:There is a correlation between age, tumour grade, functional status, fatigue, illness perception, and social support with the QOL of postoperative meningioma clients. The study recommends that these be included in their nursing assessment and an appropriate nursing rehabilitation programme be planned in order to improve their QOL.
Purpose: This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of parents supporting their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and overweight or obesity (OW/OB), including their weight management support needs.
Methods: Interview transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Nine parents (n = 9 mothers) of ten children with ASD (7 males, 3 females) participated in individual semi-structured interviews.
Results: The three themes developed were: (1) Our journey to obtain weight management support; (2) I need real-world solutions; and (3) The what, who and how of our weight management needs. Parents reported being proactive in seeking weight management support for their child but were disappointed with the services offered. Resources were not tailored to the child’s complex nutrition and behavioural issues or their abilities and functioning. A multidisciplinary approach that integrated both disability and weight management expertise was desired, but not experienced. A range of formal and informal programs were recommended.
Conclusion: This study provides a call to action for supports that ensure children with ASD and OW/OB receive integrated, individualised support to maximise their health and wellness.
The World Report on Hearing (WRH) has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA70.13), adopted in 2017 as a means of providing guidance for Member States to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.
Based on the best available evidence, this report presents epidemiological and financial data on hearing loss; outlines available cost-effective solutions and sets the way forward through ‘Integrated people-centered ear and hearing care’ (IPC-EHC). The report proposes a set of key H.E.A.R.I.N.G. interventions that must be delivered through a strengthened health system to realize the vision of IPC-EHC.
The WRH was developed in collaboration with experts and stakeholders in the field of ear and hearing care who informed the report’s strategic direction and ensured that it reflects a range of cultural contexts and approaches to hearing care. The report is global in its reach while keeping a special focus on low- and middle-income countries, where the number of people with hearing loss is not matched by the availability of services and resources.
Recent advances in medical interventions have changed the prognosis for children with infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA-1); however, little has been published regarding rehabilitation management. A rapid scoping review was conducted in November 2020 using Medline and CINAHL databases. Evidence supporting use of assistive devices and equipment to enhance participation, mobility, function, and posture in lying, sitting, and standing positions was sought. From 239 articles, only five studies (describing use of augmentative communication, manual and power mobility, supported standing and orthotic devices) met inclusion criteria. Results are presented alongside a case report of a 5-year-old boy (treated with Nusinersen since 7 months-of-age) who uses a variety of devices to enhance his activity and participation in family life. While reclined and tilted sitting positions as well as power mobility were previously considered for children with SMA-1, this child has progressed to supported upright standing, self-propelling a lightweight manual wheelchair indoors, communicating using multiple methods and taking steps in a dynamic mobility device. Power mobility was introduced in a switch-adapted cart at 11 months and he was independently exploring indoors and outside in his power wheelchair before 20 months. Research evidence is limited, but alongside the case report highlights the importance of a comprehensive and proactive approach to enhancing function, fun and participation with family and friends through adaptive equipment for children with significant and life-limiting disabilities.
The number of Palestine refugees registered by UNRWA recently grew to 5.7 million (from 5.5 million in 2019) in all its five field of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Among them are Palestine refugees with disabilities, who have long-term impairments, which in interactions with attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers prevent their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others in society. Persons with disabilities constitute an estimated 15 per cent of the global population1, and may constitute a higher percentage in humanitarian contexts, such as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, in particular, which are UNRWA fields of operations.
The main actions undertaken in 2020 discussed in the report are:
- targeted and disability-specific services for persons with disabilities
- disability inclusion through programmes
- inter-agency coordination
- international protection advocacy
This innovation insight discusses current approaches to digital fabrication of lower limb prosthetics (LLP) sockets aimed at low resourced settings. Digital fabrication of LLPs sockets has been researched for a number of decades, yet these technologies are not widely adopted, and most of the activities within this domain reside in high-income settings. However, the majority of amputees are in LMICs where there is a severe lack of access to services. It is in LMICs then, that the advantages that digital technologies offer could be of particular benefit however little to no progress in digital workflow adoption has been made to date.
Purpose: Persons with disabilities affecting lower-limb function use ankle- foot-orthoses (AFO) and knee-ankle-foot-orthoses (KAFO) on a regular basis. However, the effectiveness of these devices in daily use is seldom evaluated, especially in the developing world. This study aimed to evaluate user satisfaction with lower-limb orthotic devices while performing a broad spectrum of daily life activities in Pakistan, and to document the desired outcomes.
Method: A survey was conducted among orthotic device users in the out-patient departments of three hospitals in Lahore, Pakistan. The survey questionnaire was devised by adapting the Prosthetic Evaluation Questionnaire to suit orthotics evaluation. Fifty-four AFO and KAFO users participated in the study.
Results: Most users felt comfortable while walking on even surfaces with their orthoses. However, donning/doffing these, climbing stairs and performing certain routine activities were considered problematic for most people. Energy conservation was the most desired AFO feature, while the KAFO users wanted automatic knee-joint function.
Conclusion and Implications: Overall satisfaction with the existing lower- limb orthoses is adequate. Yet, significant improvements are needed in terms of energy efficiency and comfort while walking on different terrains. Further research is required in order to improve the functioning of the existing orthotic devices.
Purpose: The study aimed to compare the effects of balance training on balance confidence and its relationship with social participation among clients with stroke.
Method: A pre- and post- experimental group design was used. Stroke survivors who met the inclusion criteria were consecutively assigned to two groups (task- oriented and biofeedback). Participants in the task-oriented group received task- oriented activities for 20 minutes and the biofeedback group received intervention in correckta (equipment used for balance training) for 20 minutes, along with conventional occupational therapy - 5 sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Balance Confidence Scale was used for measuring balance confidence, and Frenchay Activities Index (FAI) was used to measure social participation. Statistical calculations were performed with SPSS version 16.0 package. Statistical tests were carried out with the level of significance set at p≤ 0.05.
Results: The findings suggest that both the biofeedback and task-oriented groups showed significant improvement in balance confidence and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups. There was a moderate to good relationship between balance confidence and social participation.
Conclusions and Implications: There is evidence that many stroke survivors have low balance confidence. Therapists should assess the balance confidence of their clients and encourage them to participate in these beneficial interventions.
Purpose: To explore work related and personal facilitators and barriers for return to work (RTW) and stay at work after stroke.
Materials and methods: Twenty individuals post-stroke (median age 52 years; seven women) were inter- viewed in focus groups. Data were analyzed by using qualitative content analysis.
Results: An overall theme “Work conditions, support and changed personal priorities influenced RTW and stay at work after stroke” emerged and covered three categories: “Adjustments and flexibility at the work place facilitated RTW and a sustainable work situation”, “Psychosocial support and knowledge about stroke consequences facilitated work and reduced stress”, and “Changed view of work and other personal priorities”. Physical adjustments at the work place and flexibility in the work schedule were perceived facilitators. Support from family and colleagues were important, whereas lack of knowledge of stroke dis- abilities at the work place was perceived a barrier. Also changed personal priorities in relation to the work and the current life situation influenced RTW in various ways.
Conclusions: The individual’s opportunities to influence the work situation is a key factor for RTW and the ability to stay at work after stroke. Adjustments, flexibility, support, knowledge of stroke, and receptiv- ity to a changed view of work are important for a sustainable work situation.
Telehealth provides psychotherapeutic interventions and psychoeducation for remote populations with limited access to in-person behavioural health and/or rehabilitation treatment. The United States Department of Défense and the Veterans Health Administration use telehealth to deliver primary care, medication management, and services including physical, occupational, and speech-language therapies for service members, veterans, and eligible dependents. While creative arts therapies are included in telehealth programming, the existing evidence base focuses on art therapy and dance/movement therapy, with a paucity of information on music therapy.
Discussion of didactic and applied music experiences, clinical, ethical, and technological considerations, and research pertaining to music therapy telehealth addresses this gap through presentation of three case examples. These programmes highlight music therapy telehealth with military-connected populations on a continuum of clinical and community engagement: 1) collaboration between Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and the Acoke Rural Development Initiative in Lira, Uganda; 2) the Semper Sound Cyber Health programme in San Diego, CA; and 3) the integration of music therapy telehealth into Creative Forces®, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.
These examples illustrate that participants were found to positively respond to music therapy and community music engagement through telehealth, and reported decrease in pain, anxiety, and depression; they endorsed that telehealth was not a deterrent to continued music engagement, requested continued music therapy telehealth sessions, and recommended it to their peers.
Knowledge gaps and evolving models of creative arts therapies telehealth for military-connected populations are elucidated, with emphasis on clinical and ethical considerations.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To reduce the individual, societal, and economic burden of the high sick leave rates due to chronic pain, it is essential to find effective strategies for increasing return to work (RTW). Although multimodal rehabilitation programs (MMRPs) may have positive effects on RTW, the results are inconsistent. This study explores the factors that contribute to decreasing sick leave and increasing RTW in patients with chronic pain who completed a MMRP.
METHOD: Four focus groups and three individual interviews were conducted. In total, 18 patients were interviewed. All patients had chronic pain and had completed a MMRP. They were either employed or unemployed, either working to some degree or fully on sick leave. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: Three main categories were identified: Knowledge and understanding–prerequisites for tailored solutions; Individual adaptations–necessary but difficult to implement; and Stakeholder collaboration–needs improvement.
CONCLUSION: The participants described a variety of facilitating and limiting factors that created complex prerequisites for RTW. This finding makes it clear that these patients need tailored interventions and strong collaboration among all stakeholders throughout the rehabilitation process. Tailored interventions and collaborations could improve the effectiveness of MMRPs.
Purpose: To explore the experiences of being a family with one member suffering from severe traumatic brain injury (STBI) up to 7 years earlier through narrative family interviews.
Methods: There are few studies where a family as a unit, including persons with STBI, are interviewed together. This study used a family systems research approach following a qualitative interpretative design. Therefore, 21 families with a total of 47 family members were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis was used to reveal categories with sub-categories and a theme.
Results: “From surviving STBI towards stability, through the unknown, into a new everyday life and a new future as a family” characterized the implicit message. The results revealed two categories both with three subcategories. The first category characterized the rapid change from a normal everyday life to one of uncertainty and finally to one of stability, and the second category described how it is to adapt as a family after STBI.
Conclusions: Long-term experiences of STBI show the importance for the whole family of belonging to a context, having a job, and having something to belong to as a way to achieve stability. Families` feelings of loneliness and lack of treatment and support are challenges for professionals when trying to involve families in care and rehabilitation.
Purpose: Children and adolescents with cerebral palsy often have impaired hand function. This makes it difficult for them to deal with everyday activities. The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of children and adolescents with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy when it comes to learning and dealing with activities requiring bimanual use.
Method: Ten participants, attending mainstream schools, with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (10–18 years, MACS-level I-III) took part in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative analysis with verbatim transcripts were analysed using a Grounded Theory approach.
Results: The learning of bimanual activities was described as a process taking place in interaction with the dynamics of everyday situations. Five categories describing the participants experiences emerged: “Reaching a point where you want to learn”, “Awareness and acceptance of your own abilities”, “Dealing with the boundaries of the disability”, “Dealing with the impact of people around you” and “Strategies for learning”. A multi-dimensional theory was derived, summarising how the participants learned bimanual activities in daily life.
Conclusions: Children and adolescents with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy express that the process of learning bimanual activities can only take place when it fits in with life as it unfolds. Thus, they have to adapt to a changing context and their own developing skills.
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