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Referral to rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: a model for understanding inequities in access


  • Foster, Michele
  • Tilse, Cheryl


Identifying inequities in access to health care requires critical scrutiny of the patterns and processes of care decisions. This paper describes a conceptual model, derived from social problems theory, which is proposed as a useful framework for explaining patterns of post-acute care referral and in particular, individual variations in referral to rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The model is based on three main components: (1) characteristics of the individual with TBI, (2) activities of health care professionals and the processes of referral, and (3) the contexts of care. The central argument is that access to rehabilitation following TBI is a dynamic phenomenon concerning the interpretations and negotiations of health care professionals, which in turn are shaped by the organisational and broader health care contexts. The model developed in this paper provides opportunity to develop a complex analysis of post-acute care referral based on patient factors, contextual factors and decision-making processes. It is anticipated that this framework will have utility in other areas examining and understanding patterns of access to health care.

Suggested Citation

  • Foster, Michele & Tilse, Cheryl, 2003. "Referral to rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: a model for understanding inequities in access," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(10), pages 2201-2210, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:10:p:2201-2210

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    Cited by:

    1. van Wijngaarden, Jeroen D.H. & de Bont, Antoinette A. & Huijsman, Robbert, 2006. "Learning to cross boundaries: The integration of a health network to deliver seamless care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(2-3), pages 203-213, December.


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