Rehabilitation Psychology and Global Health

Malcolm MacLachlan

in The Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199733989
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Rehabilitation Psychology and Global Health

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This chapter considers the role of rehabilitation psychology in the context of global health. It begins by reviewing the relationship between rehabilitation psychology and disability, public health, and global health. We then consider the situation of people with disabilities in low-income countries. Having described the scale of the difficulties facing rehabilitation within the broader context of global health, we then explore the international aid and development “architecture”—the organizations and policies—that seek to assist people with disabilities in low-income countries. Given the scale of the demand and the resources available to address them, much of the rehabilitation psychology–related work undertaken has been at the level of policy, systems strengthening, and organizational development, rather than at the level of individual interventions. We review work on improving access to health care, on how the human resources for the health crisis affects rehabilitation in low-income countries, and how advocacy and networking are being used to provide a stronger and more effective evidence base for addressing the challenges facing people with disabilities in low-income countries in general, and Africa in particular. Finally, we consider how rehabilitation psychology can address content, process, and context challenges of working in low- income countries and suggest that closer collaboration with the emerging field of humanitarian work psychology may be fruitful.

Keywords: Rehabilitation; disability; psychology; global health; public health; health services; international aid; poverty reduction; human rights; policy; access; advocacy; inclusion; empowerment; development; humanitarian

Article.  13859 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Health Psychology

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