Research Plan for the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Researchby National Institutes of Health
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The National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research (NABMRR) was established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the direction of the United States Congress. The Board was assigned the task of providing general guidance to the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the NIH. Research supported and coordinated by the NCMRR will ultimately result in improved individual functioning through better medical treatment options for people with disabilities and provide new technical devices to make possible and to improve performance on daily activities. The goal of the Board is to extend the excellence in biological science fostered by the NIH to the rehabilitative sciences that focus on improving function and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.
This Research Plan for Medical Rehabilitation Research, prepared at the request of Congress, will describe a framework for defining and developing the field of rehabilitative sciences and will describe research opportunities for the NCMRR and other agencies funding medical rehabilitation research. Advice and suggestions provided by individuals with disabilities, scientists and service providers will be incorporated into the plans of the NCMRR and other Federal agencies' in developing research initiatives, research training, research coordination, conferences, and other special activities
This report presents the Advisory Board's first review of medical rehabilitation research. Much of this Research Plan is based upon the NIH Report of the Task Force on Medical Rehabilitation Research, a conference proceeding that reports the findings of more than 100 scientists, practitioners and consumers with expertise in the field of medical rehabilitation who met at Hunt Valley, Maryland in June, 1990. (Theodore M. Cole and V. Reggie Edgerton, Report of the Task Force on Medical Rehabilitation Research, Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, Maryland, 1990.)
The views expressed in this document are those of the Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, and do not necessarily reflect the positions or judgements of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Administration, which must weigh competing requirements of multiple programs and activities.
People who experience disability early in life adapt to societal and environmental demands (challenges) through a habilitation process, an initial learning of skills that allows an individual to function in society. People who are disabled later in life modify their skills through the rehabilitation process, learning new ways of doing things that they did before becoming disabled.
Although this document will use "rehabilitation" to mean both processes, the distinction between habilitation and rehabilitation is important and should be kept in mind.
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