Interprofessional and Cross-sectorial Research Programme on Rehabilitation

Project: Research

Project Details


The research programme strengthens research in rehabilitation at Department of Public Health, Aarhus University in collaboration with external partners and network.
The primary purpose of the programme is to stimulate research in rehabilitation regionally and nationally across sciences by strengthening the regional foundation for doing this.
Rehabilitation is defined by the WHO as a number of initiatives supporting the individual human being who has or is at risk of having reduced functional ability, to achieve and maintain the highest possible functional ability including interaction with the surrounding society.
The Danish definition of rehabilitation is a little broader: Rehabilitation is a targeted and time-specified process where the citizen, relatives and professionals collaborate. The goal is for the citizen who has or is at risk of having considerable limitations physically, mentally and/or socially to obtain an independent and meaningful life. Rehabilitation is based on the general life situation and decisions of the citizen and consists of coordinated, coherent and evidence-based efforts.
Internationally, practice and research in rehabilitation has changed from a linear, biomedical, disease- and body-focused approach to a systemic, biopsychosocial functional ability and context-focused approach (ICF).
There is consensus that rehabilitation requires user involvement and an interprofessional practice. Thus, rehabilitation research is based on an approach crossing different sciences.
There is a need for a specific effort in rehabilitation research because rehabilitation was first introduced in Danish legislation on 1 January 2013. Rehabilitation is now part of the plans and agreements made within the fields of health, social issues and occupation and increasingly also within education. Danish municipalities are going to take on a significant part of the rehabilitation effort and thus needs a research-based foundation for managing the citizens’ needs for rehabilitation.
The central aspect of rehabilitation is to focus efforts on daily life with or without disease to establish an independent and meaningful life with the closest possible attachment to the labour market and participation in the life of society. Moreover, rehabilitation efforts consist of a number of initiatives by different professions and sections. It has become clear that there is a significant knowledge gap about monitoring in rehabilitation such as needs assessment, objectives, handing over of relevant knowledge from one institution/profession to another, methods to describe complex interventions so they can be evaluated and reproduced, organisation, financing, issues such as involvement and meaningfulness from the perspective of both citizens and professionals.
The research programme includes both local national and international partners: Public Health and Quality Improvement, Central Denmark Region, MarselisborgCentret-Danish Rehabilitation Centre, Silkeborg Regional Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Hammel Neurorehabiltation and Research Centre, Clinical Social Medicine and Rehabilitation at Regional Hospital West Jutland, CORIR (Centre for Research in Rehabilitation) at Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, municipalities, the national research network Severin, Rehabilitation Forum Denmark and National Centre for Rehabilitation and Palliation. International network from Norway, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Scotland and Canada are involved.
Effective start/end date01/02/201631/01/2021


  • Rehabilitation, ICF, biopsychosocial


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