Content » Vol 47, Issue 7

Special report

Rehabilitation needs of the survivors of the 2013 Ya’an earthquake in China

Cecilia Wai Ping Li-Tsang, Cheng Qi He, Amy Gee Wai Lo, Sai Jun Ding, Xue Deng, Yong Hong Yang, Yu Ting Zhang
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences , The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, Hong Kong. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1969


Objective: To determine the physical, functional and psychosocial rehabilitation needs of the injured survivors of the 2013 earthquake in Ya’an, China.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Methods: A total of 143 injured survivors (80 males, 63 females, mean age 41.4 years (standard deviation (SD) 20.2)) were recruited for the study. A questionnaire was designed to collect their demographic and environmental information. Manual muscle testing and active range of motion (AROM) were used to assess physical function. The Modified Barthel Index was used to assess activities of daily living (ADL) and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Self Rating Scale was used to assess psychological status. The rehabilitation needs of the injured survivors were identified based on the assessment results.
Results: Physical problems of the back and lower limbs were more severe than those of the upper limbs, as measured by MMT and AROM. Various degrees of dependence in ADL were measured in 74.2% of subjects, and psychological distress was present in more than 50% of subjects. Rehabilitation training prescribed by local therapists included functional training (74.8%), exercises (49.0%), provision of splints (44.8%), etc. Psychological interventions were re-commended to most of the patients. There were high levels of need for assistive devices, and home and community modifications.
Conclusion: There is a high level of need for early rehabilitation in hospital, followed by continued home and community rehabilitation services, particularly for injured survivors who are returning to villages with very limited resources.

Lay Abstract


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