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6.6.4 Psychosocial rehabilitation case study: Paul - kayaking

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Last amended 
3 November 2016

Paul has accepted conditions relating to both knees. He has had to undergo surgery for both knees in the past year which resulted in long recovery times and bed rest. This has affected his rehabilitation because he has found it difficult to leave the house and has become socially isolated. Paul relies heavily on his wife to support him, particularly when he meets new people, as his self-confidence is low.

The rehabilitation provider has identified that beginners kayak course at a local kayak club will increase Paul’s engagement in the community, will allow Paul to undertake an activity independently and will have no impact on his knees. The provider has suggested purchasing a kayak for Paul to enable him to continue kayaking after the course has ceased.

Can this request be approved?

Criterion: Is the activity or intervention.....Example: Beginner Kayaking Course
This table outlines issues to consider when determining whether an activity is reasonable

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

Paul’s goals include increasing his community engagement and learning to function more independently. Taking a course to learn how to kayak aligns with these goals.

2. …likely to be effective?

The beginner kayak course has a maximum of 6 participants per course which will provide social contact for Paul while not being overwhelming. As each person is in their own boat, Paul can interact with others at his own pace. The course occurs weekly and Paul will learn how to be more independent in social settings.

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

Paul’s GP has provided approval for kayaking as it will have no impact on his knee conditions.

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

Attending the course weekly will require commitment and self-management from Paul, both of which will assist with his independent functioning.

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

The beginner course runs for 12 weeks and Paul understand that if he wishes to continue after this period, he will need to become a member of the kayak club himself.

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

The cost of the course is comparable to other kayak clubs that operate on the same river. However, it is DVA policy that equipment for rehabilitation activities is hired rather than purchased so the request to purchase a boat is declined. The kay club does offer hire of their boats – see section 6.7 of this library.

7. … in line with community standards and expectations?

Yes, kayaking is a popular sporting activity in the wider community, and the cost is affordable.

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

Kayaking unlikely to compromise the client’s safety as the course only operates when the weather is calm and beginners must wear life jackets for the duration of the course.

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

Yes, Paul was involved in rowing while at school and suggested kayaking as a way to increase his social contact.

10. ... any other relevant matters?

Paul’s brother-in-law is a member of the kayak club and this connection may encourage Paul to continue kayaking after the course is completed.

Outcome: The beginner kayaking course was approved for Paul. Approval was given for hiring the kayak from the club, rather than purchasing the equipment.