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date: 20 October 2017

Summary and Keywords

“Rehabilitation groups” refers to community-based organizations which substantially rely on the work of volunteers to assist people with disabilities towards functional independence. One may differentiate between rehabilitation groups and clinical healthcare services by categorizing clinical services as being predominantly concerned with treatments designed to lower symptoms and cure ill health. Alternatively, rehabilitation groups focus their attention on delivering programs designed to assist people in regaining “functional independence” with or without the ongoing presence of symptoms. Common programs rehabilitation groups deliver are described as including but not being limited to the following:

• Mental health rehabilitation: assisting people with lived experience of mental illness towards social and emotional wellbeing.

• Drug and alcohol rehabilitation: facilitating recovery from abuse of and dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol and other drugs.

• Physical health rehabilitation: improving physical and/or neurocognitive functions that have been diminished by ongoing effects of disease or injury.

Major themes of communication influence rehabilitation groups and there are connections between the daily work of rehabilitation groups and the theoretical paradigms that influence them. Theoretical paradigms include social disability theory, recovery-oriented care, person-centered care, and cultural materialism.

Keywords: rehabilitation groups, disability, mental health, physical health, substance abuse, communication, risk, theory

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