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Rural Community Rehabilitation Project

Developing community-based rehabilitation through participatory rural appraisal (PRA)

No appropriate framework exists for the development of community based disability and rehabilitation services in rural areas

Rural contexts offer unique challenges for service development due to limited resources, geographic distance and difficulties with recruitment and retainment of specialist staff

Community members of one rural community including a core worker (coordinator), core group of community members, larger group of informal supports and volunteers, people with disabilities and their families

Key Features
Service initiative for people with disabilities conceptualised on the basis of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) developed using a participatory process within one community

Model developed was largely non-professional and provided semi-formal assistance with day-to-day practical issues

Externally funded with the support of the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland 

Conducted in association with the Centre for Human Services at Griffith University, Queensland

Research / Evaluation Strategies
Initial pilot study conducted using qualitative telephone interviews with people with disabilities residing in rural locations to identify needs and potential service models

Specific community model developed using an Eight Phase Participatory Rural Appraisal process.

Evaluation conducted drawing qualitative information from multiple sources and analysed using SWOT (strengths,weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis

Outputs and Outcomes
Positive informal, community and social outcomes were realised but formal structural and organisational outcomes were found to be limited.

Strengths included the development of network partnerships, focussed problem-solving, community focus, social cohesion and the development of relationships of trust.

Weaknesses related to the financial and resource infrastructure and partnerships with government and policymakers.

Kuipers, P., Kendall, E., & Hancock, T. (2001). Developing a rural community-based disability service: (1) Service framework and implementation strategy. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 9, 22-28.

Kuipers, P., Kendall, E., & Hancock, T. (2003). Evaluation of a rural community-based disability service in Queensland, Australia. Rural and Remote Health, 3 (online),

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Last updated: 7 September 2017