1. Core Knowledge
You can think of rehabilitation in terms of minimizing disability and handicap for a given level of impairment. ('Rehabilitation' derives from the Latin habilitas, which means ability.) You can also think in terms of tertiary prevention.
- The restoration of or improvement in an employee's health and functionality.
- The process of helping a person achieve the highest level of function, independence, and quality of life possible.
- "Programs which help patients adjust to health problems or disablement and return to a full productive life. Rehabilitation may involve physical restoration, such as the use of prostheses, or emotional help such as counseling or providing emotional support".
- "An organized program of medical and clinical treatment designed to maximize residual physical, perceptual and cognitive abilities following disablement".
- “…it is the development of a person to the fullest physical, psychological, social, vocational, avocational, and educational potential consistent with his or her physiological or anatomical impairment and environmental limitations”. It is a goal-orientated and time limited process that is tailored to each unique individual and their environment. (Joel DeLisa, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins)
- Cardiac rehabilitation programs help patients acquire the skills needed to achieve and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle after a cardiac event (University of Ottawa Heart Institute). They involve "coordinated, multifaceted interventions designed to optimize a cardiac patient’s physical, psychological, and social functioning, in addition to stabilizing, slowing, or even reversing the progression of the underlying atherosclerotic processes, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality". (Leon, Arthur S. et al. "Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease." Circulation 111 (2005): 369-76)
Rehabilitation is a long-term process requiring complete engagement of the patient. To be successful, patient and family must participate actively in decision-making, while doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, nutritionist and pharmacist facilitate this process. The rehabilitation plan must balance patient-centred goals with shared expectations of all parties involved. Education for patient and family creates awareness, positive attitudes and can help develop more effective alternatives for activities that are not working. Lastly, team communication is vital in the efficacy and success of the program as an open dialogue fosters problem solving opportunities.
Rehabilitation covers much more than mobility rehabilitation; an example is the rehabilitation of sexual offenders.
Updated February 17, 2015