Online Program

Using a web-based tool to improve knowledge of and access to rehabilitation services for individuals with cognitive disorders

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Anna Schmidt, Health and Disability Research Institute, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Eileen Elias, MED, Disability Service Center, JBS International Inc., North Bethesda, MD
Background: Recovery from and support for living with cognitive disorders is a lifelong process requiring affected individuals to have knowledge of and access to effective and continuous rehabilitation services to maximize biopsychosocial functioning. However, the rehabilitation continuum of care is fragmented, creating barriers for individuals to be aware of and receive rehabilitation services essential for each stage along the continuum and specific to service needs. In addition, comprehensive information regarding what services are available, where services can be found, what funding sources are available to pay for needed services, and which services are evidence-based (EB) and accredited is difficult to obtain. Individuals may be required to search multiple internet sites and other information sources, a task that can be especially challenging for individuals with cognitive deficits. Objective/Purpose: The objective was to develop a one-stop web-based tool to help individuals with cognitive disorders, caregivers and health providers learn about rehabilitation services and EB practices, identify and locate health care and related community services, and select accredited services based on individual needs. Methods: We collected comprehensive data, initially covering rehabilitation services in 4 States. Data included: availability and location of service providers, services provided, population served, acceptable payer sources, accreditation, private and public insurance information, and definition of rehabilitation services. The data was used to build a web-based tool accessible to individuals with cognitive disorders, their caregivers and health providers. Results: The web-based prototype provides education, service listings, EB practices, funding information, electronic personal care record, and electronic care coordination in basic English. Discussion/Conclusions: The web-based tool helps individuals with cognitive disorders understand and locate rehabilitation services and funding sources using one website. The tool could eliminate gaps in the continuum of care for individuals with cognitive disorders, empower them to obtain the care they need and alleviate frustration and anxiety.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers individuals with cognitive disorders face in accessing needed rehabilitation services. Explain the use of a comprehensive one-stop-tool for eliminating those barriers. Evaluate the benefit of a comprehensive web-based tool in educating and providing services for individuals with cognitive disorders, caregivers and service providers.

Keyword(s): Access and Services, Patient Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked for several years for a Washington, D.C.-based public health consulting firm, providing support for disability and women’s health-based programs on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Office on Women's Health, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Protection, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.