Original Research

Perceptions of integrated rehabilitation service delivery in a metropolitan district

Lebogang J. Maseko, Fasloen Adams, Hellen Myezwa
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 16, No 1 | a4069 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v16i1.4069 | © 2024 Lebogang Johanna Maseko, Fasloen Adams, Hellen Myezwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2023 | Published: 29 January 2024

About the author(s)

Lebogang J. Maseko, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Fasloen Adams, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Hellen Myezwa, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: There is a recognised need for rehabilitation services at primary health care (PHC) level. In addition, there are clear policies (international and national) and guidelines for use by healthcare planners in South Africa to implement rehabilitation services. Although rehabilitation services are provided on the primary platform, its operationalisation has not been in an integrated manner. Clarity on the level of integration within existing PHC rehabilitation service delivery is required for its inclusion in a reengineered PHC.

Aim: The study explored the extent to which rehabilitation services are integrated into PHC service delivery based on the expressed reality of rehabilitation professionals.

Setting: The Johannesburg Metropolitan District of Gauteng, South Africa.

Methods: In-depth interviews with 12 PHC rehabilitation professionals were completed to elicit their experiences with PHC rehabilitation services.

Results: The theme the current state of rehabilitation services – ‘this is the reality; you need to do what you need to do’ along with its two subcategories, was generated from this study. The theme describes the expressed reality of suboptimal, underdeveloped and poorly integrated rehabilitation services within the Johannesburg Metropolitan District. Rehabilitation service providers have adapted service delivery by including isolated components of rehabilitation integration models, but this has not yielded an integrated service.

Conclusion: Rehabilitation services although recognised as a crucial service in PHC must be critically analysed and adapted to develop integrated service delivery models. There should be a shift from selected coping mechanisms to targeted, integrated services.

Contribution: The study describes PHC rehabilitation services and explores best practice models for integrated service planning and delivery.


occupational therapy; physiotherapy; speech therapy; audiology; universal health coverage; service delivery; disability

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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