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October 17, 1986

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

JAMA. 1986;256(15):2106-2107. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380150116037

Comprehensive rehabilitation of persons with major disabilities presents a broad spectrum of therapeutic problems, because all aspects of the patient's life are affected. The goal of rehabilitation is to retrain patients to optimize their residual abilities and develop alternative techniques and devices to replace permanent losses. This is best managed by an interdisciplinary team approach, which is one of the hallmarks of rehabilitation. Effective group interaction requires that each member of the team be responsible not only for care related to his/her own discipline but also for the efforts of the group as a whole.1

This ideal can be difficult to achieve, because effective channels for keeping professional staff aware of relevant developments across disciplines are limited. Articles about significant research in fields other than medicine, eg, biomedical engineering, are not often indexed in the medical literature. Both the technical vocabulary and state-of-the-art knowledge may present a major barrier