Purpose This paper analyses the two prominent psychological theories of patient response – illness representation and self-efficacy – and explore the possibilities of the development of a conceptual individualized care model that would make use of both theories.

Methods Analysis of the literature established common themes that were used as the basis to form a conceptual framework intended to assist in the joint application of these theories to therapeutic settings.

Results Both theories emphasize personal experience, pre-construction of self, individual response to illness and treatment, and that the patients' beliefs are more influential in their recovery than the severity of the illness. Where the theories are most divergent is their application to therapeutic interventions, which reflects the different sources of influence that each theory emphasizes. Based on their similarities and differences it is possible to integrate the two theories into a conceptual care model.

Conclusion The Interactive Care Model combines both theories of patient response and provides an explicit framework for further research into the design of effective therapeutic interventions in rehabilitation care.