Original Research

Community integration of adults with disabilities post discharge from an in-patient rehabilitation unit in the Western Cape

Dietlind Gretschel, Surona Visagie, Gakeemah Inglis
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 73, No 1 | a361 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v73i1.361 | © 2017 Dietlind Gretschel, Surona Visagie, Gakeemah Inglis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 October 2016 | Published: 20 October 2017

About the author(s)

Dietlind Gretschel, Centre of Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Surona Visagie, Centre of Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Gakeemah Inglis, Physiotherapy Division, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Abstract

Introduction: Community integration is an important outcome of rehabilitation, because the ultimate focus of rehabilitation is to enable people to participate in their life roles.
Aim: To determine community integration scores achieved by adults with disabilities post discharge from an in-patient rehabilitation centre in the Western Cape Province.
Method: Fifty-nine individuals participated in this cross-sectional study. Community integration was determined using the Reintegration to Normal Living Index (RNLI). Descriptive analysis of age, gender, medical diagnosis and RNLI scores was performed. Kruskal–Wallis test and t-tests were used to determine whether there exists any relationship between age, gender, medical diagnosis and RNLI scores (p < 0.05).
Results: Participants’ mean age was 45 (± 15.9) years. Of the study participants, 54% were women. The most common diagnosis was stroke (41%), followed by spinal cord injury (30%). The mean overall RNLI score was 66.3 (± 25.5). Persons with brain trauma (stroke or head injury) had a mean of 60.9 (±20.3); those with spinal cord injury had a mean of 75.2 (± 25.8) and those with peripheral impairments had a mean of 65.5 (± 30.5). The RNLI domains ‘personal relationships’ 73.45 (± 31.6) and ‘presentation of self’ 72.13 (± 35.4) recorded the highest mean scores. The domain ‘work or meaningful activities’ had the lowest mean score 52.54 (± 35.3). ‘Community mobility’ (59.9; ± 34.6) and ‘recreation’ (57.3; ± 37.2) also had mean scores below 60. No statistically significant relationships were found between age, gender and medical diagnosis and RNLI scores.
Conclusion: The relatively low mean scores indicate that participants achieved poor community reintegration.

Keywords

community integration; adults with disabilities; in-patient rehabilitation; Reintegration to Normal Living Index (RNLI)

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