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Editorial: How do we know that rehabilitation works?
Wilson, B.A.
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 3, 1-4.
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The fact that much of what goes on in rehabilitation is never evaluated has led some people to question the usefulness of rehabilitation in general. I would suggest that rehabilitation can indeed work for some patients and their carers, and that if appropriate questions are asked intelligently in well designed research programmes, we can indeed find evidence to support specific claims of 'workability'. Many health economists, managers, scientists and others believe there is only one way to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation and that is through the use of randomised, controlled trials, preferably under double-blind conditions. Yet it is hard to see how double-blind conditions can be realised in many rehabilitation programmes. We must instead ask questions that tease out the effects of a particular procedure as it is applied to a particular patient or group of patients with a particular set of problems.