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December 17, 1955


JAMA. 1955;159(16):1540. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960330040012

Rehabilitation may be defined as the process of assisting the handicapped person to realize his potentialities and goals physically, mentally, socially, and economically.1 The growing need for rehabilitative facilities is the direct result of the enormous increase in traumatic injuries and the increase in chronic degenerative diseases in our aging population. It is estimated that at least2 million persons in the United States have disabilities requiring vocational rehabilitative services.2 This does not include persons with minor disabilities, older persons, and other groups who could benefit from rehabilitation. Although most authorities believe that rehabilitative facilities should be developed in large hospital centers, Cambridge, Mass., solved its problem not by organizing a center but by employing a rehabilitation coordinator to guide patients to and assure better use of existing local and state facilities.3 This procedure assumes the availability of adequate facilities. Although a number of the smaller hospitals that

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