Research Topic

Person-Centred Rehabilitation – Theory, Practice, and Research

About this Research Topic

Person-centred approaches in healthcare acknowledge personhood and not just biological illness as central to care and decision-making. Recognizing that people are unique in their beliefs, values and experiences, person-centred healthcare seeks to foster respect and mutual understanding for decision-making, centred on and with the person and significant others within their unique context. A person-centred approach also pays attention to the personhood of healthcare providers and the culture and context that enable such practices to be developed and sustained.

Person-centredness is accepted in rehabilitation literature and policy documents as central to rehabilitation practice. Despite this, conceptual and theoretical frameworks for person-centred rehabilitation have not yet been fully developed, and although espoused, research shows that person-centredness in rehabilitation practice has been difficult to achieve. A focus on rehabilitation professionals’ priorities in rehabilitation goal setting, service systems and structures and perceived tensions between evidence-based practice and person-centredness have limited the potential of person-centredness in rehabilitation. This is despite evidence that shows its effectiveness in improving outcomes and enabling innovative practices to be developed. The increasing focus in many healthcare systems on person-centredness as a critical tenet of service delivery means that developing better conceptual and practical understanding of person-centredness in rehabilitation is urgently required.

The goal of this research topic is to explore current thinking in person-centred rehabilitation research, with the aim of expanding thinking within the field to advance knowledge and rehabilitation practice. By exploring philosophical and conceptual underpinnings of person-centred rehabilitation, as well as definitions, effectiveness and experiences of those delivering and receiving rehabilitation, this series of articles will challenge assumptions and raise and address questions to provide a step change in person-centred rehabilitation practice.

Articles reporting empirical qualitative and quantitative research, intervention development and testing, ethnographic research, systematic and narrative reviews, discussion pieces, measurement and methodological studies and case studies are invited that advance understanding of person-centred rehabilitation.

Topics of specific interest include:
· Conceptual and theoretical frameworks for rehabilitation
· Person-centred research in rehabilitation
· Philosophical issues in evidence-based and person-centred practice
· Exploring person-centred cultures in rehabilitation systems, processes and services
· Evaluations of innovations, new approaches to specific rehabilitation practices and service-delivery models
· Systematic reviews of evidence for advancing practice
· Staffing models and structures that support and enable person-centred ways of working
· Goal setting in person-centred practice
· Ethical decision-making and implications for person-centred practice
· Implementation and evaluation of person-centred interventions
· Effects of person-centred rehabilitation
· Person-centred contexts and systems of care
· Person-centred rehabilitation and equity in access, experience and outcome
· Perspectives and experiences of indigenous, ethnic minority, and vulnerable populations of person-centred rehabilitation
· Embedding person-centred ways of working into core rehabilitation processes eg goal planning, discharge processes, self-management support, behaviour change, therapeutic relationship, interdisciplinary working
· Building cross-disciplinary capability for person-centred practice in allied health education and training
· Unpacking the epistemological differences between disability studies and rehabilitation studies and exploring implications for person-centred rehabilitation
· Exploring what person-centred rehabilitation means for participation in activity and life roles


Keywords: Person-Centred, Personhood, Rehabilitation, Systems, Goals


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Person-centred approaches in healthcare acknowledge personhood and not just biological illness as central to care and decision-making. Recognizing that people are unique in their beliefs, values and experiences, person-centred healthcare seeks to foster respect and mutual understanding for decision-making, centred on and with the person and significant others within their unique context. A person-centred approach also pays attention to the personhood of healthcare providers and the culture and context that enable such practices to be developed and sustained.

Person-centredness is accepted in rehabilitation literature and policy documents as central to rehabilitation practice. Despite this, conceptual and theoretical frameworks for person-centred rehabilitation have not yet been fully developed, and although espoused, research shows that person-centredness in rehabilitation practice has been difficult to achieve. A focus on rehabilitation professionals’ priorities in rehabilitation goal setting, service systems and structures and perceived tensions between evidence-based practice and person-centredness have limited the potential of person-centredness in rehabilitation. This is despite evidence that shows its effectiveness in improving outcomes and enabling innovative practices to be developed. The increasing focus in many healthcare systems on person-centredness as a critical tenet of service delivery means that developing better conceptual and practical understanding of person-centredness in rehabilitation is urgently required.

The goal of this research topic is to explore current thinking in person-centred rehabilitation research, with the aim of expanding thinking within the field to advance knowledge and rehabilitation practice. By exploring philosophical and conceptual underpinnings of person-centred rehabilitation, as well as definitions, effectiveness and experiences of those delivering and receiving rehabilitation, this series of articles will challenge assumptions and raise and address questions to provide a step change in person-centred rehabilitation practice.

Articles reporting empirical qualitative and quantitative research, intervention development and testing, ethnographic research, systematic and narrative reviews, discussion pieces, measurement and methodological studies and case studies are invited that advance understanding of person-centred rehabilitation.

Topics of specific interest include:
· Conceptual and theoretical frameworks for rehabilitation
· Person-centred research in rehabilitation
· Philosophical issues in evidence-based and person-centred practice
· Exploring person-centred cultures in rehabilitation systems, processes and services
· Evaluations of innovations, new approaches to specific rehabilitation practices and service-delivery models
· Systematic reviews of evidence for advancing practice
· Staffing models and structures that support and enable person-centred ways of working
· Goal setting in person-centred practice
· Ethical decision-making and implications for person-centred practice
· Implementation and evaluation of person-centred interventions
· Effects of person-centred rehabilitation
· Person-centred contexts and systems of care
· Person-centred rehabilitation and equity in access, experience and outcome
· Perspectives and experiences of indigenous, ethnic minority, and vulnerable populations of person-centred rehabilitation
· Embedding person-centred ways of working into core rehabilitation processes eg goal planning, discharge processes, self-management support, behaviour change, therapeutic relationship, interdisciplinary working
· Building cross-disciplinary capability for person-centred practice in allied health education and training
· Unpacking the epistemological differences between disability studies and rehabilitation studies and exploring implications for person-centred rehabilitation
· Exploring what person-centred rehabilitation means for participation in activity and life roles


Keywords: Person-Centred, Personhood, Rehabilitation, Systems, Goals


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

17 January 2021 Abstract
16 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

17 January 2021 Abstract
16 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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