Therapeutic Engagement: A Proposed Model of Engagement in Medical Rehabilitation

A major goal of physical medicine and rehabilitation is the recovery of function after an injury or the underlying medical condition that has caused impairment in one's daily functioning. The rehabilitation process involves a complex interplay of many factors that influence how well a person benefits from medical rehabilitation. There is burgeoning evidence that for patients to maximize rehabilitation benefits, they must be actively involved or engaged in the process. In this article, the construct of therapeutic engagement is defined, and a theoretical model is proposed to illustrate how and why individuals engage in medical rehabilitation treatment. It is hoped that such a model can form the basis for further research on therapeutic engagement that facilitates the understanding of the process variables that play a role in rehabilitation outcomes. Areas for future research and the implications for clinical application are discussed.


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