What you don't know about rehabilitation

03 December 2018

Dr Shane O’Hanlon is a consultant geriatrician at St Vincent’s University Hospital and Adjunct Assistant Professor at University College Dublin. Marie Smith is Nursing Quality Manager at the Royal Hospital Dublin.

There are things we know, and things we know we don’t know, but there are also things we don’t know we don’t know… So goes the wisdom of (would you believe it) Donald Rumsfeld, back in 2002.

And while he was talking about intelligence reports, you could apply this to healthcare too. All of us have a good level of knowledge of our own area in the care of older people, but the worrying thing is that we probably have some gaps that we are unaware of.

It is with this playing on our minds that we consider how to write a book on Geriatric Rehabilitation. Thankfully, we don’t have to actually do all the writing - that will be for the team of authors we invite on board. But our job is to guide those authors to produce something really valuable for teams across the world.

Rehabilitation has enormous importance in geriatric medicine, and it’s a vital component in the recipe of good care. Leave it out, and things may not turn out half as well as they should. Do it wrongly and we don’t get the best out of our patients’ potential. It’s complex, needs lots of disciplines and can take a long time. But we can achieve great things and return people’s enjoyment in life after a serious illness.

Our aim isn’t to write just another textbook; we could simply write out a list of our favourite topics and send it off to esteemed authors. But we want to crowdsource this book, and so we want to hear from people who have new ideas, and answers to these (& other) questions:

  • What are we not teaching about rehabilitation? (unknown unknowns please!)
  • What are the pearls of wisdom that you have seen in your work?
  • What do patients think about rehabilitation?
  • Are we involving families enough?
  • What does a new book need to add?

If you think you could contribute something really worthwhile, we’d love to hear from you.

If you want to tell us to include something, please let us know.

We also want to hear from people across the world (not just “old Europe”, as Donald scoffed)

Is this even possible? We have no idea. But we are going to take this baby all the way to term, but would welcome any and all input. As Rumsfeld also said, “It’s easier to get into something than to get out of it”, and we are definitely into this! Come and help us by clicking on this link to tell us what you think, and join a multidisciplinary project that will hopefully blossom into something really beautiful…






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