Background: The prevalence of disability in Iran has increased due to ageing of the population and the presence of chronic diseases. However, little is known about the availability of rehabilitation services in Iran. 

Objective: To study the availability of physical rehabilitation services in Iran.

Methods: This was a mixed method study. In the first phase, a qualitative design was conducted for designing an instrument with focus groups based on Service Availability and Readiness Assessment (SARA) instrument (developed by World Health Organization). Content analysis was used for data analysis. Then, in the second phase, a cross-sectional study was performed to collect the data with census method in Iran. This study was formed from June to October 2015, and samples consisted of all governmental, public non-governmental and private facilities established for rehabilitation centres affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Ministry of Labor, Cooperative and Social Welfare and the Iranian Red Crescent Society. Data analyses were performed using SPSS software (version 16). Descriptive statistical analysis (percentage and frequency) were calculated for quantitative data.

Results: In the first phase, the content analysis of qualitative data identified a Master Facilities List (MFL) of rehabilitation services and service providers in Iran. Results of the second phase showed that the rate of inpatient, outpatient, community-based and long-term care centres per 1,000,000 populations in Iran were 1.68, 89.24, 66.21 and 3.6, respectively. Also, that the rate of rehabilitation professionals including physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and audiologists were 3.90, 64.65, 22.09, 22.83 and 24.18 per 1,000,000 populations, respectively.

Conclusion: There is a need to increase the availability of rehabilitation services and to promote rehabilitation referrals by using an interdisciplinary team approach.


Keywords: Iran, Rehabilitation services, Rehabilitation professionals, Availability
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