Enhancing the Capacity of the Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network- Conducting a Needs Assessment for People with Stroke Who Live in Appalachian Kentucky

Anne Harrison, PT, PhD, University of Kentucky, Rehabilitation Science Program

One assumption of rehabilitation has been that the standard services provided in acute settings (usually located in larger urban settings) is sufficient to meet the needs of all individuals with neurological conditions (those who return to live in urban settings and those living in rural communities).
Higher rates of unemployment and decreased access to rehabilitation services, for example, affect service delivery in rural rehabilitation (7). Noreau et al. (10) identified dimensions of life-style, such as poor nutrition habits and cigarette smoking, that are more likely to influence recovery among individuals with low income in rural communities. Research is needed to identify the special needs and barriers faced by individuals with neurological conditions living in rural communities in order to better provide the long-term rehabilitation care needed for maximizing quality of life of these individuals.
The proposed study will describe the health and quality of life related supports and challenges to long-term healthcare and community integration for individuals with TBI or stroke and their families living in medically underserved rural communities.
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