HEALTH / WELL-BEING

A Scoping Review on Heterogeneity in Rehabilitation Research: Implications for Return to Duty in a Military Population

Article

Population diversity is commonly encountered in rehabilitation research. Understanding the effect of this in rehabilitation research is important, since varying conditions can influence clinical outcomes. This review explores these issues further, with regards to implications for returning to duty in a military population.

Abstract

Understanding population heterogeneity in rehabilitation research is important, since varying conditions can influence clinical outcomes. The objectives of this scoping review were to review rehabilitation studies that use a heterogeneous group in a civilian or military population, and to discuss the impact of heterogeneity on participation outcomes such as return to duty in the Canadian Armed Forces. Literature search resulted in extraction of 37 articles, which were sorted according to degree of heterogeneity and type of outcomes examined. The largest number of studies pertained to civilians (n=26), followed by military (n=10), and Veterans (n=1). We found various degrees of heterogeneity in population, setting, intervention, and outcome in these studies. Studies extracted seemed to show a superior positive outcome in return to work/duty when the group was heterogeneous. Military rehabilitation studies examining return to duty tended to include a highly heterogeneous population. Future studies pertaining to return to work/duty and using a heterogeneous group should include a wide range of outcomes in the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disease. Potential economic benefits in using a heterogeneous-based intervention are also discussed, along with implications for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Full Reference

Perigny-Lajoie, S. and Hebert, J., 2016. "A Scoping Review on Heterogeneity in Rehabilitation Research: Implications for Return to Duty in a Military Population", Journal of Military Veteran and Family Health, 2 (2), 73-95.