Content » Vol 43, Issue 10

Special report

The World Report on Disability – implications, perspectives and opportunities for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM)

Per Maximilian von Groote, Jerome Edmond Bickenbach, Christoph Gutenbrunner
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0872


On June 9th 2011 the WHO World Report on Disability (WRD), called for by the World Health Assembly (WHA), was launched at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The WRD displays what has come to be known as the integrative model of functioning and disability as expressed in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The present paper summarizes the representation of the role of rehabilitation in the WRD. It in particular highlights implications, perspectives and opportunities for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) and the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM). The WRD acknowledges the genuine role of PRM and its contribution to enhancing a person’s functioning and participation in life. Challenges lie in the delivery of rehabilitation services in underserved parts of the world, ranging from the provision of timely, cost efficient and effective treatment, and the involvement of people with disability, family and care givers in the decision making process. In the present paper it is concluded that these challenges and the implementation of the WRD’s recommendations call upon multiple actors including ISPRM and for national rehabilitation strategies that can coordinate scarce resources effectively, especially in times of crisis such as disaster relief efforts.

Lay Abstract


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