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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.39 n.2 Pretoria Aug. 2009




The value of the service offered by the community rehabilitation worker: Lessons from a review



R BinkenI; F MillerI; M.E ConchaII

ISudents in Occupational Therapy at the time the research was conducted
IIBSc (OT), PhD (Witwatersrand); Honorary Professorial Research Fellow, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand





This study was undertaken to assess the value of the Community Rehabilitation Workers (CRWs) to the people living in the rural community. Although CBR is no longer delivered through the services of CRWs the results of this evaluation were thought to be valuable in providing some lessons that would help in the implementation of an outreach service delivered by profession specific assistants. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were incorporated in the research design and analysis, all of which contributed to a judgment of the value of the CRWS' service.
The CRWs played a role in formulating the qualitative questions that were asked at a workshop. Resulting from this a questionnaire was compiled which provided information on the components of Community Based Rehabilitation delivered by the CRWs as per the definition given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as information about the value of the service. In addition the CRWs' time and client's statistic sheets for a specified nine month time period were collected and analysed. The researchers compared their findings to a previous evaluation of the CBR programme.
The data collected provided information on the coverage i.e. the number and types of clients seen, the efficiency of the service through an analysis of the time usage, the effectiveness through an analysis of the resources to which clients had been referred as well as the perceptions of the CRWs regarding the value of the work that they were doing. Relevance was ascertained by looking at the activities that were engaged in during the work as well as through the interviews.
It was concluded that the CRWs provide a valuable service to the rural community in terms of the number of clients and the range of diagnoses they treat, assisting their clients to gain access to various resources, and through their use of appropriate activities and techniques for treatment and in their interaction with the community. They also felt that they offered a valuable service to the people with a disability in the villages that they served.

Key words: Community Based Rehabilitation, evaluation, community rehabilitation workers, service value



“Full text available only in PDF format”




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M. E. Concha
Honorary Professorial Research Fellow
School of Public Health
Faculty of Health Sciences
7 York Rd
Parktown 2193



* Winner of the Vona du Toit Prize for the best 4th year Occupational Therapy Research Project in SA. 1996.

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