The impact of a structured rehabilitation program for uninsured individuals

Rehabil Psychol. 2022 Apr 4. doi: 10.1037/rep0000417. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: Health disparities in rehabilitation have been identified in brain injury (BI), spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke, and amputee populations. A free clinic was established to serve such uninsured individuals. The purpose of this exploratory study was to characterize the sample of patients attending a free rehabilitation clinic by investigating their demographics, access to care, trends in quality of life, and satisfaction with the rehabilitation program.

METHOD/DESIGN: This is a retrospective chart review of data from 15 individuals admitted to the free clinic program who were administered an admission questionnaire, the abbreviated World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL-BREF), and a postcare assessment survey.

RESULTS: A majority of patients reported not having a primary care provider nor a checkup within the past 5 years. This sample also reported extensive physical needs at admission. Seventy-three percent of the sample improved on the WHOQOL-BREF physical domain by discharge with a large effect size. The psychological, social, and environmental domain scores did not show a reliable pattern of change in this sample. Conclusions/Implication: These results support previously noted gaps in care among individuals with BI, SCI, stroke, and amputation and suggest that a monthly clinic can improve physical quality of life. This exploratory study aims to lay the foundation for future research that is needed to understand the factors that exclude these individuals from the health care system and to help key stakeholders to advocate for these patients and improve their early access to rehabilitation care. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:35377697 | DOI:10.1037/rep0000417