Experiences of persons with physical disabilities regarding

  • Anne Kumurenzi
  • José M. Frantz
  • Anthea Rhoda
  • Nondwe Mlenzana


Introduction: Rehabilitation has been found to improve the integration of persons with disabilities into the society. For rehabilitation to be effective, there is a need to seek patients' perceptions of the services rendered to them. Incorporating these perceptions in the rehabilitation process of patients is one of the ways that recognises patients' involvement in rehabilitation. The most common identified persons with physical disabilities' experiences that have been explored are: accessibility of rehabilitation services, interaction of service providers with patients, provision of information related to disability and rehabilitation. This review aims at highlighting the experiences of persons with physical disabilities regarding rehabilitation services as it relates to different studies.

Methods: This review involved a search of studies published from January 2000 to February 2010. The electronic search was done in CINAHL, COCHRANE, EBSCOHOST, MEDLINE and SCIENCE DIRECT databases. Articles were reviewed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and the Central for Evidence-Based Social Services Critical ThinkingTools and seven articles are included in the review.

Results and Discussion: Seven articles met the inclusion criteria: one cross-sectional and six qualitative studies. Most studies revealed that patients experienced challenges regarding rehabilitation services. These included but were not restricted to unavailability and inaccessible rehabilitation services. Other difficulties were identified in relation to the
interaction of patients with service providers (inadequate communication between service providers and patients and ineffectual attitudes of service providers towards their patients) and poor information dissemination.

Conclusions and implications for practice: The review discuses the different number of experiences of persons with physical disabilities. The studies included in this review indicated that rehabilitation services for persons with physical disabilities remain challenged with regards to provision of necessary information related to these services and their accessibility. Rehabilitation challenges identified can be solved when there is a considerate investment to address these challenges by policymakers and rehabilitation management.



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