Rehabilitation: Essential Along the Continuum of Care

Authors: Jody-Anne Mills, Elanie Marks, Teri Reynolds, Alarcos Cieza


Given the increasing demand for rehabilitation around the world, the need to extend the availability of essential rehabilitation interventions remains urgent. Commendable efforts in several low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) demonstrate the feasibility of improving rehabilitation capacity and performance in resource-poor settings. The Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (DCP3) package of essential rehabilitation interventions is designed to help scale up rehabilitation services to reach those who need them most. To have the greatest effect on population health requires careful attention to (1) the systems delivering rehabilitation services; (2) the training and skills of the rehabilitation workforce; and (3) the financing and monitoring of rehabilitation delivery. While rehabilitation plays a critical role in optimizing health outcomes, advances in the field have lagged those in other areas with comparable effects. Recognizing rehabilitation’s contribution to improving functioning and the quality of life and its importance to the effectiveness of other health interventions proves fundamental to correcting this disparity.