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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rehabilitation of arthritis patients : a study of the social work aspects, based on non-pay patients of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society (B.C. Division), 1949-52 Rohn, George


In order to provide adequate treatment facilities, the B.C. Division of the Canadian Arhtritis and Rheumatism Society made arrangements with the Western Society for Rehabilitation whereby twelve beds were reserved for the non-pay patients of the C.A.R.S. During the period of two years fifty-eight in-patients received treatment there. The relevance of casework for these patients is studied in the present thesis. The in-patients came from all parts of British Columbia and were selected on the basis of low income, favourable prognosis and certain requirements set by the policy of W.S.R. Because of these factors, this study is limited to a carefully selected group, and does not include patients whose illness was far advanced. Case illustrations are used to evaluate the effectiveness of services given. These also point up some of the special problems which this group has encountered. The nature of the illness and the need for a total approach in the rehabilitation process make it clear that the social worker is an indispensable member of the treatment team. This study shows also some of the factors which can hinder or prevent successful rehabilitation. Limitation in the physical setting, lack of funds, and lack of co-ordination of basic resources for treatment, re-education and follow-up, all detract from the potential effectiveness of the services so far available. Certain tentative recommendations are made on these points. Since arthritis is a condition about which medical science has not yet acquired a workable body of knowledge, this project must necessarily be somewhat exploratory. But the study leaves no doubt that the project undertaken by C.A.R.S. has made a significant contribution to the physical and mental well-being of the patients under treatment.

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