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    Rehabilitation – approaches, consideration and avoidance


    Managing Director, Heather Batey discusses rehabilitation approaches, areas to consider and gaps to avoid.

    Traditional vs Functional Rehabilitation

    What is rehabilitation? this is a hot topic at present.

    Different parties have differing “concepts” of rehab and how this process works. The key point is that the central focus has to be the Injured Party (IP) and how to enable the IP to maximise their rehabilitation performance. IF this is achieved then the IP has a better quality of life and attains maximum independence, while reducing levels of care required on a longer-term basis.

    This is a win/win for all involved.

    However, the methodology involved should vary from IP to IP and from clinical to injury specific need. Traditionally the full MDT approach is often questioned, regarding outcomes achieved and a more functional approach is shining, where rehabilitation is time limited and SMART goals are key.        

    Let me explain:       

    As a neuro clinician, I explore the best possible ways to maximise IP outcomes and am often approached to As a neuro clinician, I explore the best possible ways to maximise IP outcomes and am often approached to review/audit rehab programmes, most of which follow a traditional MDT approach which is longer term, Case Management lead, sessional clinicians and robust support programmes…where outcomes can be compromised by early support.

    Options are necessary

    Research of the available literature outlines the issues surrounding a traditional full Multi-Disciplinary Team approach Vs the Functional approach to rehabilitation. Exploring the benefits of “real life rehab in real life settings”.

     Issues relating to traditional MDT approaches can include:  

    • Conflict between professionals
    • Consistency of service and care
    • Communication barriers from lack of specific shared goals.
    • Lack of targeted intervention between disciplines
    • Limited resource and time
    • Lack of awareness, appreciation and overlapping of roles and responsibilities  

    Conclusion : In some client areas, including neuro,the traditional full MDT approach can compromise effective multidisciplinary working, therefore affecting the client’s rehabilitation outcomes.  

    We have a choice

    The alternative is a very functional approach which gives the IP goal consistency within their home environment and offers them the invaluable guidance and structure required to successfully achieve their rehabilitation goals, through a “rehab first and support second” approach.

    This is evidenced as a very effective route to rehab. Rehabilitation strategies are reinforced daily which reduces the margin of mistakes and increases efficiency, providing an overall more effective outcome over a shorter timescale. We have learned to our detriment, through protracted, multi-professional rehabilitation programmes the flaws of some MDT’s where, at times, the client and the goals become lost. This just highlights the key importance of great Case Management for these IP’s


    All interested parties need to be aware of available options to facilitate to gain the best outcome for an IP. Afterall, rehabilitation is about optimising performance through functional restoration, and this allows a client to get their life back as much as possible.

    Full literature review paper and References available on request.

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