Do people living with disabilities need a lifetime passport to rehabilitation service?

At the #ISPRM2024 congress in Sydney, Dr. Thomas Linden from the National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden, delivered a thought-provoking keynote lecture on whether people living with disabilities need a lifetime passport to rehabilitation services. In a follow-up interview with Dr. Cassandra Cooke, an Australian trainee, Dr. Linden shared his perspectives on integrating scientific advancements into rehabilitation policies and practices.

The Role of Science in Rehabilitation Policies

Dr. Linden emphasized the importance of translating scientific knowledge into practical applications in rehabilitation. “We must make sure that data goes into knowledge and knowledge goes into practice,” he explained. He highlighted the need for continuous learning and adaptation, stating, “We cannot use the same methods that we were taught in our basic training. We must update our knowledge with the new findings.”

Adding Life to Years

One of the key points Dr. Linden discussed was the unique focus of rehabilitation medicine. “Rehabilitation is a particular field in medicine because it’s not about adding years to life. It’s more about adding life to years,” he said. As populations age, the goal is to enhance function, activity, and health during the additional years of life, rather than merely extending lifespan.

Key Takeaways from the Lecture

Reflecting on his speech, Dr. Linden reiterated the necessity of following scientific advancements to ensure a healthy, long life. “To secure a healthy, long life requires a PR emphasis on science,” he noted. Efficient methods must be employed to provide high-value care to everyone in need. This involves a commitment to learning, relearning, and adapting new methods as they become available.

Dr. Linden’s insights at #ISPRM2024 underscored the critical role of science in shaping effective rehabilitation policies and practices. His emphasis on lifelong learning and the integration of new scientific findings highlights the dynamic nature of rehabilitation medicine.