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6.6.1 Psychosocial rehabilitation case study: Maria - rock climbing course

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Last amended 
3 November 2016

The following example shows a decision was made about the appropriateness of a six-week rock climbing course for a DVA client, Maria.

Maria was discharged from the Army for depression and has moved to her husband’s home town to start a new career. Her depression is being well-managed but social isolation is affecting her self-confidence.

Maria’s rehabilitation provider has recommended she participate in a rock climbing course. The program is limited to 10 participants, involves two sessions in an indoor climbing centre and four visits to climbing spots in the local area.

Criterion: is the intervention?Example: rock climbing course
This is a table showing the process for determining whether a psychosocial rehabilitation activity is reasonable

1. … likely to achieve progress towards an agreed rehabilitation goal?

One of Maria’s rehabilitation goals is to establish a new social network. The psychosocial activity (rock climbing) aligns with this goal.

2. …likely to be effective?

Rock climbing provides exercise which can help with depression, and improve stamina, strength, flexibility and agility. It requires patience, planning and analysis, develops concentration, determination and problem-solving skills. It can also build self-confidence, social skills and self-control.

3. …appropriate for the client given their medical restrictions?

Maria has no health conditions which would be aggravated by rock climbing.

4. … likely to improve, or at least not impair, their independent functioning?

Maria will learn new skills and have to plan her time and transport to attend the course in different locations.

5. … time-limited rather than a long-term or ongoing activity?

The rock climbing course runs for six weeks. If Maria wishes to continue the activity after this period, she will be advised that she can choose to do so at her own expense.

6. … cost-effective in relation to other equally effective interventions or arrangements?

This course meets Maria’s specific needs in terms of reducing social isolation, and also provides a range of other health and wellbeing benefits. It is similar in price to other courses of this type.

7. … in line with community standards and expectations?

Yes, rock climbing is a common activity undertaken frequently in the wider community and the cost is affordable.

8. … unlikely to compromise the client’s personal safety?

The company providing the course has the relevant safety certificates and appropriate insurance cover.

9. … in line with the client’s preferences?

Yes, Maria has participated in adventure sports in the past and is interested developing hiking and rock climbing as a hobbies.

10. ... any other relevant matters?

Maria was a physical training instructor in the Army. Rock climbing builds on her existing skills and interests.

Outcome: The rock climbing course was approved for Maria.