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Scaling-up community-based rehabilitation programs in rural Thailand: the development of a capacity building program


Background: Approximately 15% of the world population have some forms of disability and their quality of life is compromised. According to Thailand Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Empowerment Act, B.E. 2550 (2007), PWDs are entitled for benefits ranging from medical care to social support services. The CBR framework and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can be used to promote the interdisciplinary approach across staff from different organizations. This study aimed to demonstrate the capacity building strategy for user organizations and resource teams, the key components in environment of scale-up as described in “WHO/ExpandNet Scaling-up Framework” to promote the implementation process of CBR interventions in Thailand.

Methods: The study were conducted with a network of representative from five sub-districts in Thailand. A set of capacity building training courses was designed. Fieldworkers were trained to administer the ICF questionnaire to collect data of PWDs in community. A qualitative interview was conducted to investigate the changes of the interdisciplinary teams.

Results: The total of 1,783 PWDs data were collected during 1 April 2018-30 December 2019. All of them have, at least, one type of impairments and one type of difficulties in activity of daily living (ADL). Needs of assistive devices and home modifications were also recognized. Individual ICF profile can also developed to monitor change of their functioning after receiving services. After the discussions in the qualitative interviews, it is indicated that their perceptions towards work with PWDs were changed. The six steps in capacity building include: dialogue, team building, disability role-play; ICF data collection and analysis; developing individual care plans for PWDs; home and environmental modifications for PWDs; training to promote employment opportunities; and evaluation of the care plan.

Conclusions: The study highlighted the innovative training methodology for building up the capacity of staff to work as a team and to become agents of change to set up a strategic plan for delivering CBR interventions in their own settings.

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