Rehabilitation in HIV/AIDS: Development of an Expanded Conceptual Framework
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In industrialized countries where HIV infection is becoming a chronic, episodic condition, rehabilitation services have the potential to play an expanded role for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs). However, little is known about rehabilitation in the context of HIV. This paper documents the development of an enhanced, multidisciplinary conceptual framework of rehabilitation in the context of HIV, using the perceptions of PLHAs and rehabilitation professionals. Rehabilitation, broadly defined, is a dynamic process that includes all prevention and/or treatment activities and/or services that address body impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions for an individual. The framework was developed through broad consultation and interviews with thirteen key informants. Themes that emerged from analysis of interviews related to concepts of rehabilitation in the context of HIV, rehabilitation professionals' roles in the context of HIV, and barriers to access and delivery of rehabilitation services. While there was some variation, key informants generally viewed rehabilitation as a goal-oriented and client-centered process with the potential to impact a range of life domains. Themes were presented to members of a national advisory committee (including PLHAs and health care providers), who produced the foundation of the HIV rehabilitation framework. The framework uses the perspective of the person living with HIV/AIDS, and includes individual life domains that may be affected by HIV, drawing and expanding upon the World Health Organization's (WHO's) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
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