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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2018 February;54(1):90-9

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04530-5

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Understanding community-based rehabilitation and the role of physical and rehabilitation medicine

Vanessa A. SEIJAS 1 , Luz H. LUGO 1, Blanca CANO 2, Luz M. ESCOBAR 2, Carlos QUINTERO 1, Boya NUGRAHA 3, Christoph GUTENBRUNNER 3

1 Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, “Rehabilitation in Health” Research Group, University of Antioquia, Clínica las Américas, Medellín, Colombia; 2 “Rehabilitation in Health” Research Group, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia; 3 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany


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Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is an accepted model to improve the delivery of rehabilitation in the community. It includes the access to health care, education, labor and accessible environments. The role of Specialists in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine in this strategy (SPRM) is not very well defined. On the occasion of the international consultation for the WHO Action Plan for persons with disabilities, a discussion about the meaning of CBR and the role of SPRM on CBR has occurred among the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) members. The following major questions were identified; what is CBR? What is the role of Specialists in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SPMR) in CBR? A review of the literature and a discussion among experts was held to answer these questions. It is of major importance to distinguish between the two concepts of CBR: The first one is the policy or management strategy of CBR that was developed by WHO about 30 years ago. The second one is the provision of basic rehabilitation services offered at the community level. CBR strategy must also addresses the need for optimal access to specialized rehabilitation services and will have a key role in the design and building of so-called “Basic Rehabilitation Services.” The authors proposed a scheme, which integrates all relevant aspects surrounding the concept of CBR; levels of care rehabilitation services and the roles proposed for SPRM. In addition, the convention for the rights of persons with disabilities and the conceptual framework of the ICF was taken into account.


KEY WORDS: Community medicine - Community health services - Community health centers - Physical and rehabilitation medicine

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Publication History

Issue published online: February 26, 2018
Article first published online: December 19, 2016
Manuscript accepted: December 5, 2016
Manuscript received: October 9, 2016

Cite this article as

Seijas VA, Lugo LH, Cano B, Escobar LM, Quintero C, Nugraha B, et al. Understanding community-based rehabilitation and the role of physical and rehabilitation medicine. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2018;54:90-9. DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04530-5

Corresponding author e-mail

vaneseijas@gmail.com