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The importance of rehabilitation for achieving SDG3: SIDE EVENT at the HLPF 2021

July 2021

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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

Persons with disabilities in the context of armed conflict - Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
June 2021

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Human Rights Watch provided input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

This submission was based on Human Rights Watch’s research in Afghanistan, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, and Syria. 

 

Six issues were focussed on in particular:

  • At higher risk during fighting
  • Availability of assistive devices
  • Access to basic services
  • Education for children with disabilities
  • Abuse and stigma
  • Mental health impact

A Swedish cultural adaptation of the participation questionnaire Functional Scale of the Disability Evaluation System – Child version

AXELSSON, Anna Karin
ULLENHAG, Anna
ÖDMAN, Pia
2021

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Purpose: The aim was to culturally validate a questionnaire about children’s/youth’s participation to be used in a Swedish context.


Methods: FUNDES-Child, based on the well-established CASP, was chosen. Questions about engagement and hindering factors were added to the existing questions about frequency and independence in 20 activity areas. Using a qualitative, explorative design, 16 interviews with children/youths/caregivers were made to explore opinions about the questionnaire. Follow-up interviews confirmed the result of the revised questionnaire. Qualitative content analysis was performed.

 

Results: The interviews provided support for the questionnaire’s relevance by being a tool to assess important aspects of participation, to gain insights into one’s own/the child’s participation, and to promote ideas about what causes the degree of participation. To achieve comprehensiveness, no activity area was found to be missing nor superfluous. However, some examples were needed to be modified where “parades” are unusual in Sweden and therefore removed, while “singing in choir” was added. In search for comprehensibility, opinions about the layout of the first version were raised and a varying degree of understanding of wording and concepts were found and thus taken into account. 

 

Conclusions: The questionnaire can be used for establishing meaningful goals and to potentially increase children’s participation.

Assessment of functioning and disability in patients with low back pain – the low back pain assessment tool. Part 1: development

IBSEN, Charlotte
SCHIØTTZ-CHRISTENSEN, Berit
NIELSEN, Claus Vinther
HØRDER, Mogens
SCHMIDT, Anne Mette
MARIBO, Thomas
2021

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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.

Musculoskeletal impairment among Syrian refugees living in Sultanbeyli, Turkey: prevalence, cause, diagnosis and need for related services and assistive products

BOGGS, Dorothy
ATIJOSAN-AYODELE, Oluwarantim
YONSO, Hisem
et al
April 2021

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Epidemiological data on musculoskeletal impairment (MSI) and related service and assistive product (AP) needs for displaced populations are lacking. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence, aetiology, and specific MSI diagnosis and the need for related services and APs among Syrian refugees living in Sultanbeyli, a district in Istanbul, Turkey.

A population-based survey used probability proportionate to size and compact segment sampling to select 80 clusters (‘street’) of 50 individuals (aged 2+), for total sample size of approximately 4000 participants. An updated version of the Rapid Assessment of MSI tool (RAM) was used to screen all participants using six questions. Any participant who screened positive underwent a standardised examination by a physiotherapist to assess the presence, aetiology, severity and specific diagnosis of MSI and an assessment of need for related services and APs.

 

Conflict and Health volume 15, Article number: 29 (2021)

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-021-00362-9

German version of the Chelsea Critical Care Physical Assessment Tool (CPAx-GE): translation, cross-cultural adaptation, validity, and reliability

EGGMANN, Sabrina
VERRA, Martin L
STEFANICKI, Valentine
KINDLER, Angela
SEYLER, Daphne
HILFIKER, Roger
SCHEFOLD, Joerg C
BASTIAENEN, Caroline H G
ZANTE, Bjoern
2021

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Purpose: To translate and cross-culturally adapt the Chelsea Critical Care Physical Assessment tool from English to German (CPAx-GE) and to examine its validity and reliability.


Materials and methods: Following a forward-backward translation including an expert round table dis- cussion, the measurement properties of the CPAx-GE were explored in critically ill, mechanically ventilated adults. We investigated construct, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural validity of the CPAx-GE with other measurement instruments at pre-specified timepoints, analysed relative reliability with intraclass correl- ation coefficients (ICCs) and determined absolute agreement with the Bland–Altman plots.

 

Results: Consensus for the translated CPAx-GE was reached. Validity was excellent with >80% of the pre- specified hypotheses accepted at baseline, critical care, and hospital discharge. Interrater reliability was high (ICCs > 0.8) across all visits. Limit of agreement ranged from 2 to 2 points. Error of measurement was small, floor, and ceiling effects limited.

 

Conclusions: The CPAx-GE demonstrated excellent construct, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural validity as well as high interrater reliability in critically ill adults with prolonged mechanical ventilation at baseline, critical care, and hospital discharge. Consequently, the CPAx-GE can be assumed equal to the original and recommended in the German-speaking area to assess physical function and activity of critically ill adults across the critical care and hospital stay.

‘Satan is holding your tongue back’: Stuttering as moral failure

ISAACS, Dane H
2021

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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.

How can we overcome barriers to accessing rehabilitation for persons with disabilities in LMIC? - Evidence brief

MACTAGGART, Islay
April 2021

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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

A comparison of routine and case-managed pathways for recovery from musculoskeletal disorders in people in employment

BERGMAN, Beverly P
DEMOU, Evangelia
LEWSEY, James
MACDONALD, Ewan
2021

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Purpose: To compare outcomes in employed people from an enhanced routine management pathway for musculoskeletal disorders within National Health Service Scotland with an existing active case-management system, Working Health Services Scotland.


Materials and methods: The study comprised a service evaluation using anonymised routinely collected data from all currently employed callers presenting with musculoskeletal disorder to the two services. Baseline demographic and clinical data were collected. EuroQol EQ-5DTM scores at the start and end of treatment were compared for both groups, overall and by age, sex, socio-economic status, and anatomical site, and the impact of mental health status at baseline was evaluated.

 

Results: Active case-management resulted in greater improvement than enhanced routine care. Case-managed service users entered the programme earlier in the recovery pathway; there was evidence of spontaneous improvement during the longer waiting time of routine service clients but only if they had good baseline mental health. Those most disadvantaged through mental health co-morbidity showed the greatest benefit.

 

Conclusions: People with musculoskeletal disorders who have poor baseline mental health status derive greatest benefit from active case-management. Case-management therefore contributes to reducing health inequalities and can help to minimise long-term sickness absence. Shorter waiting times contrib- uted to better outcomes in the case-managed service.

The effects of wheelchair mobility skills and exercise training on physical activity, fitness, skills and confidence in youth using a manual wheelchair

SOL, Marleen E
VERSCHUREN, Olaf
HOREMANS, Henricus
WESTERS, Paul
VISSER-MEILY, Johanna M A
DE GROOT, Janke F
Fit-for-the-Future Consortium
2021

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Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a combination of wheelchair mobility skills (WMS) training and exer- cise training on physical activity (PA), WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and physical fitness. Methods: Youth using a manual wheelchair (n 1⁄4 60) participated in this practice-based intervention, with a waiting list period (16 weeks), exercise training (8 weeks), WMS training (8 weeks), and follow-up (16 weeks). Repeated measures included: PA (Activ8), WMS (Utrecht Pediatric Wheelchair Mobility Skills Test), confidence in wheelchair mobility (Wheelchair Mobility Confidence Scale), and physical fitness (cardio- respiratory fitness, (an)aerobic performance) and were analysed per outcome parameter using a multilevel model analyses. Differences between the waiting list and training period were determined with an unpaired sample t-test.

 

Results: Multilevel model analysis showed significant positive effects for PA (p1⁄40.01), WMS (p<0.001), confidence in wheelchair mobility (p<0.001), aerobic (p<0.001), and anaerobic performance (p<0.001). Unpaired sample t-tests underscored these effects for PA (p<0.01) and WMS (p<0.001). There were no effects on cardiorespiratory fitness. The order of training (exercise before WMS) had a significant effect on confidence in wheelchair mobility.

 

Conclusions: A combination of exercise and WMS training appears to have significant positive long-term effects on PA, WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and (an)aerobic performance in youth using a manual wheelchair.

Perspectives on assistive technology among older Norwegian adults receiving community health services

HALVORSRUD, Liv
HOLTHE, Torhild
KARTERUD, Dag
THORSTENSEN, Erik
LUND, Anne
2021

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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.

Hard of Hearing Adults’ Interpersonal Interactions and Relationships in Daily Life

OLSSON, Sylvia
DAG, Munir
KULLBERG, Christian
2021

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Globally, there is limited research on how deaf and hard of hearing adults experience higher education and work. The purpose of the present study is to examine hard of hearing (HH) adults’ experiences of social interactions and social relationships in higher education, the workplace and leisure time. Data were obtained from semistructured interviews with 16 individuals (aged 24–31 years) from diverse cultural backgrounds (10 males and 6 females) with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Participants were selected based on previous expressed interest in participating in further studies after having been involved in an earlier study. The interviews were subjected to a qualitative thematic data analysis. According to the results, people with a hearing loss experience communication barrier in higher education, at work and in leisure time. These communication barriers lead to difficulties achieving social inclusion, and in some circumstances to social exclusion. Assistive technology (AT) and information and communication technologies (ICT) were important facilitators of moving from social exclusion towards social inclusion.

Design journey of an affordable manual standing wheelchair

SHAIKH-MOHAMMED, Javeed
DASH, Swostik Sourav
SARDA, Vivek
SUJATHA, S
2021

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Purpose: Only 1 in 10 people with disabilities can access assistive devices, underlining the critical need for low-cost assistive products. This paper describes the design evolution of a manual user-operated standing wheelchair (SWC), translating from prototype to product.


Methods: The SWC design has been refined over 5 years through multiple iterations based on comments from user trials. The SWC product, Arise, provides standing functionality, facile outdoor mobility, afford- ability, customisability, and is aesthetically pleasing. A one-time fitting and training ensure optimal effort for operation, correct posture, and comfortable user experience. The SWC accommodates users of differ- ent sizes and body weights (up to 110kg) and minimises user effort with the use of a gas spring. Incorporating discrete adjustments enables customisation while retaining the advantages of mass manu- facturing, which is necessary for ensuring affordability.

 

Results: The SWC has been field-tested and well received by over 100 wheelchair users, and Arise was launched recently by the industry partner.


Conclusions: It should be noted that RESNA cautions on the use of any standing device without medical consultation. Nevertheless, with appropriate dissemination and awareness, it is anticipated that the afford- able SWC product, Arise, will immensely benefit the eligible users and make a difference in their quality of life.

The influence of a contoured seating base on pressure distribution and discomfort

DE MARE, Lieke
DE GROOT, Bas
DE KONING, Fleur
GEERS, Richard
TETTEROO, Daniel
2021

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Purpose: This research paper examines how contouring of a wheelchair seating base can help prevent pressure sores by distributing pressure over the buttocks. Contouring wheelchair cushioning is already done to some extent and has proved to be beneficial for pressure distribution. We researched the effect of contouring the seating base, and whether contouring the seating base affects effectiveness in pressure distribution and perceived discomfort.

 

Materials & methods: 13 healthy participants performed a within-subject experiment with three differ- ently contoured seating bases. Perceived comfort and seating pressure were measured for each condition.
Results: Results indicate that a more contoured base is positive for both comfort and increased pressure distribution.

 

Conclusions: Contoured seating bases can provide increased comfort and improved pressure distribution over flat seating bases. Future research should examine the effect of contouring on stability, as well as compare the effects of contoured seating bases and contoured cushions.

A high prevalence of manual wheelchair rear-wheel misalignment could be leading to increased risk of repetitive strain injuries

OTT, Joseph
HENDERSON, Travis
WILSON-JENE, Holly
KOONTZ, Alicia
PEARLMAN, Jonathan
2021

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence and severity of manual wheelchair rear wheel misalignment in community-dwelling manual wheelchair users and estimate the associated increases in rolling resistance (RR) and risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).


Materials and Methods: Data were collected in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, a university research laboratory, and at adaptive sporting events in the United States. Two hundred active, self-propelling man- ual wheelchair users were recruited. Angular misalignment (referred to as toe angle) while the wheelchair was loaded with the user, and the difference between the maximum and minimum toe angle (referred to as slop) with the wheelchair unloaded.

 

Results: Average results for toe angle and slop (movement in the rear wheels) were 0.92 and 0.61 degrees, respectively. Using a lab-based testing method, we quantified the impact of increased RR forces due to misalignment in increased RR forces. Our results indicate that the average toe angle while under load and slop, without loading, measured in the community increase required propulsion force by 3.0 N. Combined toe angle and slop (i.e., the worst-case scenario) added increased propulsion force by 3.9 N. Conclusions: We found that rear-wheel misalignment was prevalent and severe enough that it may increase the risk for RSIs and decrease participation. To mitigate this issue, future work should focus on reducing misalignment through improved maintenance interventions and increased manufacturing qual- ity through more stringent standards.

Assistive product specifications and how to use them

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
March 2021

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This document was developed to guide procurement of assistive products. It is intended primarily for procurement teams working in less resourced settings. It should be read alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) publication A manual for public procurement of assistive products, accessories, spare parts and related services, which sets out the procurement process in detail, including key steps and good practice

 

The document is a compilation of 26 model specifications describing the assistive product functional requirements and related services to be considered in procurement. The document also provides guiding information on how to adapt and apply the model specifications in tender processes

Disability inclusive Universal Healthcare

CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY
March 2021

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The inclusion of direct medical costs, indirect medical costs and indirect costs incurred by people with disabilities into Universal Healthcare is discussed. The importance of including assistive devices, rehabilitation and extra transportation costs in the system is highlighted. Social protection measures are also highlighted.

Exploring participation in family and recreational activities among children with cerebral palsy during early childhood: how does it relate to motor function and parental empowerment?

KALLESON, Runa
JAHNSEN, Reidun
ØSTENSJØ, Sigrid
2021

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Purpose: To explore participation in real-life activities during early childhood, compare children’s partici- pation based on motor function and investigate relationships between participation and parental empowerment.


Methods: Data derived from the Cerebral Palsy Follow-up Program (CPOP) in Norway and the research registry Habilitation Trajectories, Interventions, and Services for Young Children with CP (CPHAB). Fifty-six children (12–56 months, GMFCS levels I–IV, MACS levels I–V) and their families were included. Frequency and enjoyment of participation were assessed by the Child Engagement in Daily Life Questionnaire and parental empowerment in family and service situations by the Family Empowerment Scale at least twice during the preschool years. Differences between groups based on motor function were explored by the Kruskal–Wallis tests. A linear mixed model was conducted to explore relationships between child partici- pation and parental empowerment.

 

Results: Similarities and differences in participation between children at different motor function levels varied between the activities explored. Fluctuations in frequency and stable enjoyment scores over time were most common. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between child participation and parental empowerment in family situations, but not in service situations.

 

Conclusions: Child participation appears as context-dependent and complexly influenced by both motor function and parental empowerment. This supports a focus on transactional processes when exploring and promoting child participation.

Sexuality as part of rehabilitation? A qualitative study on the perceptions of rehabilitation nurses on discussing patient sexuality during clinical rehabilitation

PASCUAL, April
WIGHMAN, Amber
LITTOOIJ, Elsbeth C
JANSSEN, Thomas W
February 2021

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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.

Perspectives on access and usage of assistive technology by people with intellectual disabilities in the Western Cape province of South Africa: Where to from here?

BOOT, Fleur H
KAHONDE, Callista
DINSMORE, John
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
2021

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Background: Whilst assistive technology (AT) can play an important role to improve quality of life, health inequity regarding access to appropriate AT for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is still very much present especially in low resource countries.

 

Objectives: This study focused on exploring factors that influence access to and continued use of AT by people with ID in the Western Cape province of South Africa and to suggest potential implications of these findings and actions required to promote access to AT.

 

Method: A qualitative approach was used to explore the experiences of people with ID and providers of AT. Face-to-face interviews with 20 adults with mild to profound ID, and 17 providers of AT were conducted and the data were analysed thematically.

 

Results: People with ID within the study setting faced many challenges when trying to access AT and for those who managed to acquire AT, its continued usage was influenced by both personal characteristics of the user and environmental factors. Important factors that influence AT access and use for people with ID found in this study were (1) attitudes from the community, (2) knowledge and awareness to identify AT need and (3) AT training and instructions to support the user and care network.

 

Conclusion: With the perspectives of both the providers and users of AT, this study identified priority factors, which could be addressed to improve AT access and use for people with ID in the Western Cape province.

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