Scoping review of the person-centered literature in adult physical rehabilitation

Felicity A.S. Bright, Cátia S Pinho, Christina Papadimitriou, Nicola M. Kayes, Cheryl A. Cott, Tiago S Jesus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To describe the amount, range, and key characteristics (e.g., publication years, methods, topics) of the person-centered rehabilitation literature in adults with physical impairments. Method: Following the published scoping review protocol, papers were identified through: three major databases, snowball searches and expert consultation. Two independent reviewers have identified English-language papers on adult person-centered rehabilitation according to six pre-defined inclusion categories - theoretical, quantitative and qualitive research papers are included; and then have extracted their key characteristics (e.g., aims, methods, participants). Descriptive statistics, regression and content analyses were used to synthesize the results. Results: Of 5912 deduplicated records initially screened, 170 papers were included: 136 empirical, including 13 systematic reviews. Empirical papers had data from 15264 clients and 4098 providers, in total. Yearly publications grew significantly from 2009 to 2018 (r2 = 0.71; b = 1.98: p < 0.01). Publications were unevenly distributed by countries (e.g., United States' publications per population was 44 times lower than New Zealand's). Most papers focused in more than one profession, setting-type or health conditions. Finally, many empirical papers (n = 67) studied implementation of person-centered rehabilitation approaches, including its effect. Conclusion: This scoping review synthesizes key characteristics and publication trends in the person-centered rehabilitation literature on adults with physical impairments, a growing but unchartered territory thus far. This large and diverse body of literature can ground further person-centered rehabilitation practices and research, including toward building a transdisciplinary, trans-service model of person-centered rehabilitation. Implications for rehabilitation The person-centered rehabilitation literature on adults with physical impairments, especially the empirical one, has been growing significantly over time, despite inequitably distributed per countries. Rehabilitation stakeholders, including practitioners, have a growing amount of literature in which they can rely for the operationalization and implementation of person-centered rehabilitation approaches into routine practice. Based on our work, person-centered rehabilitation emerges as a practice requirement that cuts across professional and other rehabilitation silos.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1626-1636
Number of pages11
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2019


  • Rehabilitation
  • Disabled persons
  • Patient-centered care
  • Publications
  • Review
  • Review literature as topic


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