J Agric Med Community Health.  2011 Dec;36(4):227-237.

The Rehabilitation Services Utilization of People with Disabilities in a Rural Area

  • 1Graduate School of Public Health, Kyungpook National University, Korea. pmkky@knu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Korea.
  • 3Department of Hospital & Health Care Administration, Gyeongsan 1st College, Korea.
  • 4Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Chungnam National University, Korea.


OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to investigate the utilization and its determinants of rehabilitation services of people with disabilities in a rural area.
From March 2 to April 1, 2011, we interviewed 101 disabled people with either physical disabilities or brain lesions. The subjects completed questionnaires about the utilization of rehabilitation services, general characteristics (age, sex, marital status, education level, economic status, health insurance, housing, and employment) and disability characteristics (type, level, comorbidity, reason for the occurrence of the disability, self-rated degree of disability, and daily life care giver). Frequency, Pearson's chi-square test, and a multiple logistic regression were used for statistical analysis.
This study showed that 70.3% of the people in this rural area with disabilities were using rehabilitation services. The two most common reasons for not using the services were "doubt about the effectiveness of the service" and "no facilities nearby." The facilities that the disabled people were currently using, in the order of most used to least, were general hospitals or clinics, rehabilitation centers, oriental medicine clinics, and public health centers. Only 19.7% of those who received rehabilitation responded that they were satisfied with the service. Significant factors in the utilization of rehabilitation services were sex, employment, self-rated economic status, and the reason for the occurrence of the disability. Women, people who were currently working, people who were of middle or higher economic status, or people who had acquired a disability were significantly more likely to use the services.
A large number of people with disabilities in a rural area use rehabilitation services at present, but accessibility and satisfaction were low. Quantitatively and qualitatively, rehabilitation services for disabled people in a rural area should be centered around Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR). Effective strategies, for example reaching those who have not used the rehabilitation services, will be needed to improve services in rural areas.


Rehabilitation services; People with disabilities; Rural area
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