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  1. Pierce, Linda L. PhD, MSN, RN, CRRN, FAHA, FAAN

Article Content

Although 15% of the world's population experience some form of disability (Disabled World, 2018), in the United States, that number is higher at 22% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). No matter where people live, some or all of a person's physical, sensory, and mental capabilities can be lost due to an injury (e.g., amputation, orthopedic, spinal cord, traumatic brain) and/or illness/disease (e.g., stroke, cancer, cardiac, pulmonary, arthritis, neurologic problems) and result in disability or deficits (Jernigan, 2015; Williams, 2015). Rehabilitation includes assisting persons to compensate for deficits that cannot be reversed medically. It is achieved by restoring people's physical functions and/or modifying their physical and social environment. Main types of rehabilitation in addition to nursing care are physical, occupational, and speech therapies. The person's healthcare provider usually coordinates the efforts of the rehabilitation team, which include registered nurses, as well as physical, occupational, speech, or other therapists. Family members are often actively involved in the person's rehabilitation program and are key team partners. Nursing care and rehabilitation therapy are tailored to the person's needs and can include one or many strategies (Jernigan, 2015; Williams, 2015).


In this issue of Rehabilitation Nursing, you will find interesting and different rehabilitation topics that impact persons with disability, nurses, and other healthcare providers from authors around the world (e.g., Asia, Europe, and North America). Three continuing education (CE) opportunities for registered nurses for one credit hour each are included. Dr. Schmelzer and her team in the State of Texas conducted a qualitative study to tell about bowel control strategies used by U.S. veterans with long-standing spinal cord injuries (CE Feature Article). In another article, Dr. Ehlers and colleagues from Denmark report an integrative review of quantitative and qualitative papers on experiences of older adults after hip fracture (CE Feature Article). Lastly, registered dietitian Goroff plus a speech language pathologist, certified rehabilitation registered nurse, and physician describe oral hydration protocols for dysphagic patients following stroke in New York State (free CE Current Issue). Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) members have the opportunity to earn 6 hours of CE free every year that are published in this journal and to purchase more CE when needed. These CE offerings can be accessed at https://rehabnurse.org/resources/journal/journal-ce.


In addition to the CE offerings in this issue are other research reports (Feature Articles) from Dr. Sciume and an Italian research team that investigate the role of resilience in elderly patients during postacute rehabilitation after urgent or elective orthopedic surgery and Dr. Kimble's randomized clinical trial from the State of Georgia to test the effect of a psychoeducational intervention to enhance angina pectoris symptom self-management. From Spain, Dr. Tovsruela-Carrion and colleagues describe their study to determine whether people with rheumatoid arthritis wear adequately fitting footwear (Feature Article). Finally, Dr. Lee and Taiwan research associates examine the relationships between illness perceptions and return to work in patients with moderate to severe injuries (Clinical Consultation).


This issue of RNJ goes across the rehabilitation healthcare continuum and relates well to the ARN's Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing (ARN, 2014; Vaughn et al., 2016). The content of each feature article, clinical consultation, or current issue links to one or more of the competency model's four domains. These domains include the following: "(1) nurse-led evidence-based interventions to promote function and health management in persons with disability and/or chronic illness, [horizontal ellipsis](2) promotion of health and successful living in persons with disability or chronic illness across life span, [horizontal ellipsis](3) leadership, and [horizontal ellipsis](4) interprofessional care" (ARN, 2015, p. xi-xiii). Rehabilitation nurses and other providers may use the clinically relevant implication and intervention information/strategies presented by these authors, as they work with persons with disability and their families or caregivers to assist them in restoring their lives.


Yes, disability and rehabilitation are only words, but they are meaningful and powerful words. These words represent helping people with disability through rehabilitation nursing care and therapies to maintain, regain, and/or attain freedom and independence in becoming the best that they can be in their world.


Linda L. Pierce, PhD, MSN, RN, CRRN, FAHA, FAAN


Associate Editor, Rehabilitation Nursing




College of Nursing, The University of Toledo, Toledo,




The author declares no conflict of interest




Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. (2014). ARN competency model for professional rehabilitation nursing. Chicago, IL: Author. Retrieved from https://rehabnurse.org/uploads/membership/ARN_Rehabilitation_Nursing_Competency_[Context Link]


Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. (2015). ARN competency model for professional rehabilitation nursing. In The specialty practice of rehabilitation nursing: A core curriculum (7th ed.), xi-xv. Chicago, IL: Author. [Context Link]


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). CDC: 53 million adults in the US live with a disability. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0730-us-disability.html[Context Link]


Disabled World. (2018). Disability news & information. Retrieved from https://www.disabled-world.com/[Context Link]


Jernigan D. (2015). Rehabilitation and rehabilitation nursing. In C. Lehman Ed., The specialty practice of rehabilitation nursing: A core curriculum (7th ed.), 3-12. Chicago, IL: Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. Larsen PD4, Rye J5, Wintersgill W. [Context Link]


Vaughn S., Mauk K., Jacelon C., Larsen P. D., Rye J., Wintersgill W., [horizontal ellipsis] Dufresne D. (2016). The competency model for professional rehabilitation nursing. Rehabilitation Nursing, 41(1), 33-44. [Context Link]


Williams D. (2015). Rehabilitation nursing: Now and into the future. In Lehman C. Ed., The specialty practice of rehabilitation nursing: A core curriculum (7th ed.), 13-28. Chicago, IL: Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. [Context Link]