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Review Article

The effects of rehabilitation on intellectually-disabled people – a systematic review

Ernest J. Sechoaro, Belinda Scrooby, Daleen P. Koen

Health SA Gesondheid; Vol 19, No 1 (2014), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/hsag.v19i1.693

Submitted: 17 August 2012
Published:  22 August 2014

Abstract

Background: Rehabilitation has emerged as a comprehensive approach to addressing intellectually-disabled peoples’ skill deficits, improving competencies and facilitating optimal functioning in order to provide the greatest possible measure of social and economic participation, self-reliance and independence.

Objective: To synthesise critically and summarise the best available evidence of the effects of rehabilitation on intellectually-disabled people.

Method: Literature searches of different electronic databases and manual searches were conducted using selected keywords. Studies on the effects of rehabilitation on intellectually-disabled people were selected systematically, appraised critically for methodological quality and summarised.

Results: Rehabilitation interventions indicated good outcomes with regard to intellectually-disabled people. Findings showed that people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities improved in terms of activities of daily living (ADL) after rehabilitation. Improvement was noted in ADL, self-care skills, communication skills and cognitive achievements.

Conclusion: Findings demonstrated positive rehabilitation effects on intellectually-disabled people. This study contributes to the comprehensive nursing care of intellectually-disabled people by endorsement of the effectiveness of rehabilitation in terms of ADL, self-care skills, communication skills and cognitive achievements. The collected evidence of this study may contribute to the education of more effective nurse practitioners involved in the daily care and rehabilitation of intellectually-disabled people.


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Author affiliations

Ernest J. Sechoaro, School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Belinda Scrooby, School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Daleen P. Koen, School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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