Without notice, an acute illness or injury can result in life-altering disability with a rippling effect that extends far beyond the individual. The most vulnerable are those who suffer acutely from loss of functionality and drastic change in social roles as they transition home from the hospital. Yet this experience is not well understood; most measures quantify death, readmissions and burden without considering quality of life and different influences in the surrounding system.
The goal of the Global Alliance on Disability and Healthcare Innovation (GANDHI) is to examine disability from multiple perspectives and cultures to ultimately support the development of innovative interdisciplinary approaches to promote functional independence, community reintegration and an improved quality of life after an acute injury or illness.
In 2016-2017 several projects will be completed with students and faculty at Duke in collaboration with partners from China, Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Tanzania, and Uganda. These projects include an exploration of patient experience with new disability in different nations, a comparative assessment of the systems of care available for patients with new acute illness or injury transitioning home from the hospital, and a study of health policies available or needed to strengthen health systems and the communities supporting these families. The goal from year 1 is to establish the foundation of research from which to develop and plan a resource and culturally appropriate transitional care strategy to improve functional independence, community reintegration and an improved quality of life after an acute injury or illness.
Michelle Roberts – MScGH ‘17 – email@example.com