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J Allied Health. 2003 Summer;32(2):106-9.

Integrating health promotion, patient education, and adult education principles with the older adult: a perspective for rehabilitation professionals.

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  • 1Department of Communication Disorders, University of Tulsa, College of Arts and Sciences, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.


With demographic changes and an increase in the number and proportion of older adults, there is now a greater demand for health promotion and patient education by rehabilitation professionals who are experts in their respective fields and who are knowledgeable about normal and pathologic aging. Older adults are more at risk for chronic illnesses and are interested in learning more about their own health. Many interrelationships between health promotion, patient education, and adult education exist in the context of rehabilitation for older adults. Changes in the U.S. health care system have decreased resources for long-term rehabilitation so that interventions must have the maximal impact possible. Health promotion and patient education are within the scope of practice of rehabilitation professionals, but the effectiveness of these efforts are diminished unless concepts and approaches for teaching and interacting with older adults are used. This commentary discusses the rationale for integrating these three aspects of patient care.

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