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State-of-the-Science on Postacute Rehabilitation: Setting a Research Agenda and Developing an Evidence Base for Practice and Public Policy: An Introduction

Heinemann, Allen W. PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: November 2007 - Volume 86 - Issue 11 - pp 869-874
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31815840b3
Executive Summary: Postacute Rehabilitation

Heinemann AW: State-of-the-science on postacute rehabilitation: setting a research agenda and developing an evidence base for practice and public policy: An Introduction. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2007;86:869–874

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Measuring Rehabilitation Outcomes and Effectiveness along with academic, professional, provider, accreditor, and other organizations, sponsored a 2-day State-of-the-Science of Post-Acute Rehabilitation Symposium in February 2007. The aim of this symposium was to serve as a catalyst for expanded research on postacute care (PAC) rehabilitation so that health policy is founded on a solid evidence base. The goals were to (1) describe the state of our knowledge regarding utilization, organization, and outcomes of postacute rehabilitation settings, (2) identify methodologic and measurement challenges to conducting research, (3) foster the exchange of ideas among researchers, policy makers, industry representatives, funding agency staff, consumers, and advocacy groups, and (4) identify critical issues related to setting, delivery, payment, and effectiveness of rehabilitation services. Plenary presentation and state-of-the-science summaries were organized around four themes: (1) the need for improved measurement of key rehabilitation variables and methods to collect and analyze this information, (2) factors that influence access to postacute rehabilitation care, (3) similarities and differences in quality and quantity of services across PAC settings, and (4) effectiveness of postacute rehabilitation services. The full set of symposium articles, including recommendations for future research, appear in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

From the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Allen W. Heinemann, PhD, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611-2654.

Supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research through a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Measuring Rehabilitation Outcomes and Effectiveness (grant no. H133B040032). No commercial party having a direct financial interest in the results of the research supporting this article has or will confer a benefit upon the author or upon any organization with which the author is associated.

Editor’s Note: Additional information is available in the AAP Presidential Address published in the October 2007 issue. This Executive Summary is being published simultaneously by several medical journals, including the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Assistive Technology, Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, OT JR: Occupation, Participation and Health, Physical Therapy, and Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.