A person-centered approach in initial rehabilitation needs assessment: Experiences of persons with disabilities

Authors Karin Hanga, Diana M. DiNitto, Jean-Pierre Wilken, Lauri Leppik
Published in ALTER, European Journal of Disability Research
Publication date 2017
Research groups Participation, Care and Support
Type Article


Person-centeredness refers to an individually-tailored, holistic approach to meeting a person's needs and recognizing the client as an expert and active participant in the rehabilitation process. This article focuses on a study conducted in Estonia to analyze the perceptions of persons with disabilities about person-centeredness by exploring their experiences about received disability services and participation in an initial rehabilitation needs assessment process. Twelve in-depth interviews were conducted in different regions of Estonia with persons with disability. Data were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. The aim of the research project (2010–2015) was to design a person-centered initial rehabilitation needs assessment instrument. Results revealed that in describing their experiences, study participants identified important components of person-centeredness: (1) understanding service users and meeting their individual needs, (2) connecting and partnering with service users, (3) providing appropriate information, and (4) addressing issues of power and empowerment. If these components are included, service users are more likely to become motivated to consider their situation and take more control of their lives. These findings may be of relevance for countries considering needs-based referrals to rehabilitation services and refocusing disability services using a person-centered approach

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in ALTER, European Journal of Disability Research
Year and volume 11 4
Key words rehabilitation, empowerment, assessment
Page range 251-266

Participation Care and Support