Work begins on new WHO rehabilitation guidelines

The World Health Organization has selected six international research bodies to collect and analyse evidence to inform the first ever global guidelines on health-related rehabilitation. WCPT is advising on some of the research.

The guidelines will support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the recommendations from the United Nations General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on Disability and Development.

They will guide governments and others on how to develop and improve the quality of rehabilitation services, particularly in less-resourced settings, in line with recommendations in the WHO-World Bank World report on disability. They will particularly focus on the integration and decentralisation of rehabilitation services within the health system.

The research organisations involved are Trinity College Dublin, the University of Washington, the University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University, the University of East Anglia and the University of Queensland. WCPT’s Professional Policy Consultant Catherine Sykes is on the advisory group for the packages of work being carried out by the University of Washington, on service delivery and assistive technology.

She commented: “The target for the rehabilitation guidelines is less-resourced settings, but the peer-reviewed literature to underpin them is generally from high-resource settings. So the guidelines will need to address a range of service delivery models to ensure the needs of people with disabilities are met in places where western-style specialist rehabilitation services are less feasible.”

In preparation for the guidelines, the World Health Organization is conducting a survey collecting the views of stakeholders, including physical therapists. The survey takes up to ten minutes to complete. A glossary to help complete the survey is available. 

Related to this story