Community‐based rehabilitation interventions for people with disabilities in low‐and middle‐income countries are effective

Added April 28, 2020

Citation: Iemmi V, Gibson L, Blanchet K, et al. Community‐based rehabilitation for people with disabilities in low‐and middle‐income countries: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2015; 11(1): 1-177

What is this: The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on health and social care services. Existing research on community‐based rehabilitation for people with disabilities may provide policy makers with information to help with this.

In this Campbell systematic review, the authors searched for research that compared different types of community‐based rehabilitation interventions in low‐ and middle‐income countries for people with physical and mental disabilities. They restricted their search to studies published after 1976 but did not restrict by type or language of publication and did their search in July 2012. They included 10 randomised trials, 2 non‐randomised controlled studies, 2 controlled before‐after studies and 1 interrupted time series study. The studies focussed on physical disabilities (6 studies) or mental disabilities (9).

What works: Community‐based rehabilitation interventions improved clinical outcomes and enhanced functioning and quality of life of people with a disability in low- and middle-income countries.

Community‐based rehabilitation interventions had positive impact on the lives of people with physical disabilities (stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and people with mental disabilities (schizophrenia, dementia and intellectual impairment), and for the carers of people with dementia.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What is uncertain: The cost-effectiveness of community‐based rehabilitation for people with disabilities in low‐and middle‐income countries is uncertain.


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