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01-04-2009 | Uitgave 3/2009

Quality of Life Research 3/2009

Disability meanings according to patients and clinicians: imagined recovery choice pathways

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2009
Margaret G. Stineman, Pamela M. Rist, Jibby E. Kurichi, Greg Maislin



The purpose of this study was to explore how the meaning of disability varies between patients with acute-onset activity limitations and clinicians, and between males and females.


Seventy-nine patients undergoing inpatient rehabilitation and 93 practicing rehabilitation clinicians in the USA developed personal recovery choice pathways through recovery preference exploration (RPE). Imagining complete dependence in 18 activities as diverse as eating and expression, each individual determined an optimal sequence of recovery. This sequence was used to determine the relative value of each activity compared with the other 17. Three comparisons were made by calculating the mean absolute difference (MAD) in median utilities, including patients versus clinicians, male versus female patients, and male versus female clinicians. The MAD shows the relative magnitude of disparity between each pair.


The MAD value between patients and clinicians was 3.4 times larger and 4.8 times larger than the MAD values between male and female patients and male and female clinicians, respectively.


The much larger difference in recovery preferences between patients and clinicians compared with differences between genders suggests that life contexts of being a patient with disabilities versus a clinician are more potent determinants of activity limitation perspectives than being a man or woman.

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