Assessment of Patient Participation in Physical Rehabilitation Activities: An Integrative Review


  • Horst Rettke PhD, RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. University Hospital Zurich, Centre for Clinical Nursing Science, Zurich, Switzerland
    • Correspondence

      Horst Rettke, PhD RN, University Hospital Zurich, Centre for Clinical Nursing Science, Rämistrasse 100, ZUR44, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland.


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  • Heike M. Geschwindner PhD, RN,

    1. Department of Health and the Environment, City of Zurich Nursing Homes, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Wim J. A. van den Heuvel PhD

    1. Department of Health Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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In addition to the amount and intensity of rehabilitation interventions and the number of therapies, the degree of patient participation in physical rehabilitation activities is key. For this reason, adequate information regarding participation is necessary to evaluate patient performance. This article reviews instruments designed to assess participation in physical rehabilitation activities.


Integrative review.


Pubmed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Embase, and Cochrane Library database were searched for publications between January 1976 and July 2012. Secondary searches were also conducted and reference lists scanned for relevant publications.


Fourteen articles reporting on three instruments were found. They differ with regard to their underlying theoretical concepts. Each instrument was tested in medical inpatient rehabilitation settings.

Conclusions/Clinical Relevance

Each instrument appears to be useful for assessing specific aspects of patient participation in rehabilitation activities. More theoretical work is needed to clarify the underlying concepts as these instruments are not yet ready for clinical application.