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PD Dr. Ruth Deck

Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein

(Campus Lübeck)

Institut für Sozialmedizin

Ratzeburger Allee 160 (Haus 50)

23538 Lübeck

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Preparation for rehab: What do rehabilitees know about rehabilitation? State of knowledge, access paths and optimisation strategies

Jürgen Höder and Ruth Deck - Institut für Sozialmedizin - Universität Lübeck


In this project, the concern is with what rehabilitees with chronic orthopaedic illnesses should know about rehab before rehab, what they actually know and from where they draw this knowledge, how the acquisition of knowledge can be improved, and what effects an improved knowledge has on rehab goal and health-related activities after the completion of rehab.



Rehabilitees are insufficiently informed about rehab-specific themes which are seen as relevant by experts and by the patients themselves.


Such information is difficult for the rehabilitees to obtain or difficult to understand.


Forms and methods of providing information can be developed which lead to more knowledge, more realistic and activity-oriented goals and more commitment to health-related activities after rehab in the rehabilitees.


The forms and methods of providing information can also be shaped in a manner that is attractive and comprehensible for persons who tend towards a lower health competence (health literacy).



The planned study comprises three phases; the first two are exploratory in nature, while the third contains an experimental approach. In all three phases, aspects of gender and education are taken into account.


The first phase serves to ascertain the target state from two perspectives: What should rehabilitees know, according to the experts, before starting rehab? What contents, presentations and paths of information do the rehabilitees themselves desire? To this aim, a focus group will be carried out with experts (clinicians, scientists, representatives of the service providers) as well as several groups with rehabilitees from various clinics. The results of the different work groups will be integrated into a list of ten to twelve themes, the so-called core themes.


In phase 2 (actual state), the concern is with what chances rehabilitees have to prepare themselves for rehab in a well-informed manner and how informed they actually are: What information sources are available? Are the contents presented in a relevant, applicable and comprehensible manner? To what degree are they used? How are they evaluated by users? Are the rehabilitees sufficiently informed about the themes determined in phase 1? To this aim, numerous possible information sources are closely inspected and evaluated, partly with rating procedures, partly with computer-based analyses of readability. To check the rehabilitees' existing knowledge about the core themes and to measure the use and evaluation of the information sources by the rehabilitees, we construct corresponding questionnaires. These will be presented to 150 rehabilitees from various clinics at the beginning of rehab.


Phase 3 comprises two parts: Optimisation (or new creation) of a selection of the materials found in phase 2 with regard to relevance, comprehensibility and "joy of reception" and examination of the effects on the type of rehab goals mentioned by the rehabilitees as well as commencement of aftercare activities. Besides written information, internet-based audiovisual and interactive procedures will be developed. Finally, we compile a clinic info pack: easily understandable written information on the core themes that can be sent by the clinics to the rehabilitees before the beginning of rehab. The clinic info pack also contains references to the complete material on the Internet. The clinic info pack will be sent to the rehabilitees (N=300) by post by the cooperating clinics together with the invitation to begin rehab. The control group (N=300) receives only the usual invitation with the customary information material from the DRV and rehab clinic. The concern is with a quasi-experimental sequential randomised design.

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