How can sociology contribute to our theoretical understanding of rehabilitation?

Inge Storgaard Bonfils, Kirsten Schultz Petersen, Inger Schrøder

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


In sociology a variety of theories are used to investigate individuals, groups of individuals or society. The analysis is traditionally divided into micro-, meso- or macro levels addressing different ways to understand the interaction between the individual and society.
Rehabilitation is widely defined in accordance to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “a set of interventions needed when a person is experiencing or is likely to experience limitations in everyday functioning due to ageing or a health condition, including chronic diseases or disorders, injuries or traumas”.
Hence, the understanding of disability and functioning according to the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) emphasize the role of the environment on functioning. However, very often the individual
aspects of rehabilitation are the primary target for the provided interventions.

To challenge and discuss our understanding of rehabilitation by involving sociological theory to qualify and
discuss the knowledgebase.

Inspired by the socio-ecological model developed by Dahlgren and Whitehead, 2007 WHO´s definition of rehabilitation and disability and function (ICF) is discussed by involving sociological theory. The discussion will outline of different scenarios for using sociology theory in order to expand our understanding of the interaction between the individual and the environment and how this have implications for rehabilitation.

The background for this oral presentation is based on Chapter 1 in the book: Sociologi og rehabilitering by Petersen KS, Bonfils IS and Scrøder I published by Munksgaard Danmark in 2019.

Perspectives The outlined scenarios for using sociological theory in rehabilitation practice and research are further elaborated on in relation to its future implications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date7 Sep 2021
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2021
EventRehabilitation International World Congress - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 7 Sep 20219 Sep 2021
Conference number: 24th


ConferenceRehabilitation International World Congress
Internet address

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