bilitation relies at least in part on methods such as this for the dissemination of interventions proven to be effective by research.
Those who require access to information generated from rehabilitation research include professionals in practice and in training, rehabilitation scientists, people with disabling conditions and their families, architects, and policy makers including elected officials, insurers, and administrators. Research findings should foster high-quality care and services for people with disabling conditions, enable better disability prevention, build community networks of care to guide the development of effective and efficient rehabilitation services, and stimulate further research efforts.
No organized mechanism for the development of rehabilitation science exists, however, nor does a formal mechanism for distributing the findings of rehabilitation science to those providing services. Few journals focus on interdisciplinary research. Although the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) publishes and distributes free for the asking The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, VA does not presume that it publishes all the information that the federal government should disseminate. In part because the journal is chronically underfunded, the delay between the time of submission and the time of publication is, on average, longer than 1 year, and the journal is not widely distributed, so it lacks the prestige of major journals. More funding would help to improve the turnaround time for articles in this journal and to improve the prestige of this journal and others like it. An additional dissemination problem results from the fact that rehabilitation professionals are taught according to an individual profession's criteria and traditions; few opportunities for cross-disciplinary interaction are available and the professions are not knowledgeable about the science of the other professions.
Models are needed to increase cross-disciplinary communication. Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary field and ultimately patients will only benefit when professionals have access to information that will support their patients through their recovery and re-entry to their family, work, and community lives. One such model for rehabilitation science and engineering to consider for dissemination is the extension model used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This model allows physicians, farmers, homemakers, and scientists alike to obtain state-of-the-art information from USDA county extension agents, pamphlets, and from USDA-sponsored information services. The Administration on Disability and Rehabilitation Research could facilitate transfer of information among (See Chapter 10), to give nurses, therapists and physicians access to information that would support organizations, professions, consumer groups, providers, and others access to accurate, evidence-based rehabilitation information. Just as USDA's sponsorship of home economics classes