An exploration of the contribution of the community nurse to rehabilitation

Rosie Kneafsey, Andrew F. Long, Julia Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Effective hospital and community rehabilitation services are increasingly recognised as a means of meeting the changing pattern of health and social care need. While the district or community nurse has the potential to play a central part in community rehabilitation provision, this role has received relatively scant attention in the literature. This paper describes research findings on community nurses' perceptions of their role and potential contribution to rehabilitation. As part of a wider, 2-year, qualitative investigation of the role of the nurse in rehabilitation, fieldwork was undertaken with both district and community staff nurses. This comprised focus group discussions and interviews with staff recruited as a consequence of the follow-up of patients' experiencing rehabilitation. The findings indicate that community-based nurses contributed to patient rehabilitation by making assessments, referring on to other members of the multi-professional team, advocating for and liaising with other services, helping people to adapt, teaching and motivating patients and carers, supporting and involving families, and providing technical care. A number of challenges to community-based nursing roles were apparent, including feelings of exclusion, lack of recognition, a lack of time for rehabilitation and paucity of referrals for rehabilitation. Greater clarity and recognition is needed of the community-based nursing contribution to rehabilitation, and there is a need to ensure that community nursing assessments contribute to patients' rehabilitation goals and the promotion of independent living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Community nursing
  • Education
  • Knowledge
  • Rehabilitation
  • Role
  • Skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploration of the contribution of the community nurse to rehabilitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this