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Development of a community-based medical rehabilitation program in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada

Co-Action Publishing
Publication Date
  • Intervention
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Objective. In 2000, the University of Manitoba and the Department of Health and Social Services of Nunavut, Canada, jointly embarked upon the development of a community-based medical rehabilitation programme in the Kivalliq Region of Canada’s central Arctic. Two main objectives were identified in moving forward with the implementation of a rehabilitation programme. Firstly, to conduct a region wide community needs assessment for rehabilitation services for all age groups of all residents of the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. Secondly, to provide information from which a community-based rehabilitation therapy programme could be developed. Methods. A community needs assessment of the Kivalliq Region was carried out to guide the implementation of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology services. Results. There are now two physiotherapists, one occupational therapist, and one speech language pathologist providing rehabilitation services to the residents of the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. The results of this needs assessment, the challenges and successes of this medical rehabilitation programme are discussed. Conclusion. The total population of the service area is approximately 8,000 people, the significant majority of whom self-report as Inuit, and are widely dispersed over eight communities. Despite the challenges in terms of culture, geography and recruitment of introducing a rehabilitation program in Canada’s north, the residents of the Kivalliq Region now have a viable model of receiving rehabilitative intervention in their home communities.Keywords: Intervention, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology

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