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Relationships Between Independent Living Centers and Medical Rehabilitation Programs

Fuhrer MJ, Rossi D, Gerken L, Nosek MA, Richards L. Relationships between independent living centers and medical rehabilitation programs. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 1990;71:519-22.


A survey of independent living centers (ILCs) and medical rehabilitation programs (MRPs) with cooperative relationships was conducted to (1) document the extent of kinds of relationships that exist and (2) identify factors that are reported to impede or facilitate those relationships. A questionnaire was mailed to 83 ILCs that are listed in the ILRU Registry of Independent Living Programs and that reported having a relationship with one or more MRPs. Subsequently, another questionnaire was sent to the MRPs with which each ILC reported having a relationship. Usable questionnaires were received from 46 ILCs. In descending order, the most frequently reported relationships were (1) making referrals to or supplying information about MRPs, (2) providing peer counseling services, and (3) conducting training in daily living skills for medical rehabilitation patients. Mean ratings of satisfaction with the various kinds of relationships were relatively high. The three most frequently reported barriers to stronger relationships were conflicting approaches of service delivery, funding of services, and conflicting program philosophies. Using information from a database describing ILCs, it was found that ILCs with MRP relationships served significantly more consumers than centers not having such relationships. According to results provided by 25 MRPs, patients with spinal cord injury most frequently received services by staff members of ILCs, with peer counseling being the most frequently provided service.

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