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SUHI Project: Pediatric Community Reintegration Project

Project:

Pediatric Community Reintegration Project

Introduction:

It is a substantial societal challenge to help families of children discharged from a rehabilitation hospital who have sustained disabilities, require rehabilitation, and now have to re-integrate themselves into society.

Project Plan:

The main goal of this study was to make a contribution to solving this dilemma.  We attempted to do this by testing the hypothesis that weekly home visits by Case Managers for the first three months and follow-up phone calls for the next six months after discharge from a rehabilitation hospital would facilitate parental adjustment and assist in obtaining access to community resources and government benefits.  It was further hypothesized that this would then improve the parent’s ability to more effectively help their injured child reintegrate into society.  According to the outcome measures that were employed this goal was only partially met. 

Despite the equivocal results from the outcome analysis, much was still learned about the field from several of the unique, groundbreaking aspects of this study:   

  • For the first time, the size of the population of children discharged from Chicago’s rehabilitation hospitals has been reliably established.
  • For the first time, psychometric batteries, that allow us to measure the progress in such areas as quality of life and locus of control have been employed with this population.
  • The substantial potential for the amelioration of many of the difficulties associated with these discharges via the use of Case Managers has been examined.
  • Barriers to successful re-integration have been documented.  Solutions to these barriers have been proposed and policy suggestions to help these families meet the substantial challenges in front of them have been delineated. 
  • Finally, the observation that many of these families came from some of the most disenfranchised communities in a highly segregated urban environment lends further urgency to our findings and recommendations.
  • A comprehensive literature review indicates that this was the first systematic study of an in-home intervention for families of newly injured children.  We believe it is possible (and necessary) to draw upon the lessons of this study and move forward in trying to determine how best to deal with this very important societal problem. 

Project Updates:

This project has reached completion.