5102.0: Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 12:30 PM

Abstract #23764

Emergent disabilities: New challenges in the field of rehabilitation research

Thilo Kroll, PhD and Melissa J. McNeil, MS, MSW. Center for Health and Disability Research, National Rehabilitation Hospital Washington DC, 1016 16th Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036

Research Objective: The current transformation of the demographic makeup of the US population (e.g. ethnic composition, distribution of wealth, aging) and recent advances in medicine have been linked to major changes in the epidemiology and etiology of disability, known as 'emergent disabilities' (Fujiura, 1999). These changes present the medical rehabilitation industry with new challenges. This paper examines rehabilitative needs and access barriers for people with emergent disabilities face.

Methods include extensive literature analyses, secondary data analyses (National Health Interview Survey 1997), telephone and face-to-face interviews with expert researchers, health care providers, and disability advocates with the goal to develop rehabilitative needs trajectories for selected emergent conditions, such as violently acquired spinal cord injury, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.

Findings: The need-trajectories encompass environmental, personal, economic, structural and legislative elements. Several factors (low income status, urban setting, limited insurance coverage, limited provider knowledge, and social support, culturally diverse expectations) that compromise access to needed rehabilitative services as well as implications for service delivery (better secondary prevention services; vocational rehabilitation programs, health literacy) and health policy (better coverage under public programs) are presented. The presentation will highlight conceptual, empirical, and structural consequences of currently unmet needs in populations with emergent disabilities.

Learning Objectives: The presentation will introduce a theoretical framework and empirical evidence that will assist clinicians and public health researchers to investigate the rehabilitative needs and barriers to health care in populations with emergent disabilities. Participants will be able to define 'emergent disabilities' and to apply the conceptual framework to future research efforts to broaden the understanding of emergent disabilities.

Keywords: Access and Services, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: National Rehabilitation Hospital Center for Health and Disability Research, Washington DC
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Handout (.ppt format, 763.0 kb)

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA