Building capacity in primary care rehabilitation clinical practice guidelines: A South African initiative

Q. Louw, K. Grimmer, J. M. Dizon, S. Machingaidze, H. Parker, D. Ernstzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The large number of South Africans with disability who cannot access good quality rehabilitation presents a public health and human rights challenge. A cost-effective, efficient approach is required to address this. Implementation of high-quality, contextually relevant clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) could be a solution; however, this requires significant investment in innovative capacity-building. 

Methods: A qualitative descriptive national study was conducted to explore the perspectives of South African stakeholders in rehabilitation, regarding CPG capacity-building. Twenty rehabilitation professionals (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, podiatrists, rehabilitation managers or directors) were interviewed. Transcribed interview data were analysed using a deductive content analysis approach, mapping findings to an international capacity-building framework to produce new knowledge. 

Results: Capacity-building is required in content, purpose and construction of locally relevant CPGs, as well as personal, workforce and systems capacity. Principles and strategies were derived to underpin implementation of CPGs that are user friendly, context specific, relevant to the needs of end-users, and achievable within available resources. Collaboration, networks and communication are required at national, provincial and regional level, within and between sectors. A central agency for CPG methods, writing, implementation and evaluation is indicated.

Conclusion: South African rehabilitation can benefit from a multi-level CPG capacity-building focusing on performance, personal, workforce and systems issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number96
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Research Policy and Systems
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • South African
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Building Capacity
  • Rehabilitation Management
  • Speech Language Therapists


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