Rehabilitation Psychology includes the assessment and treatment of chronic health conditions. Understanding the impact of these conditions on the individual (children, adolescents & adults), and his or her family, financial picture, quality of life and culture is vital.
Recognition of the role of stigmatization around these conditions and understanding the role of "The Americans with Disabilities Act" is essential.
Initially, acute conditions may progress to become enduring and chronic conditions which require "accommodations" in the workplace. Advocating for the individual with disabilities as well as assisting the employer in understanding limitations can be empowering for the individual client.
Over 1 million persons within the United States have chronic health conditions. The cost for treatment of these conditions is three times that of an acute condition. Chronic illnesses also account for 47% percent of all health expenditures.
Psychological impact on persons with chronic conditions is frequently associated with some of the following disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without hyperactivity.
- Non-Specific Learning Disorders.
- Traumatic Brain Injury or acquired brain injury.
- Spinal Chord Injury
- Neuromuscular disorders.
- Parkinson's Disease.
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Alcohol Abuse or Mixed Substance Abuse
- Cancer Conditions
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorders (Obesity, anorexia, bulimia)