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Handicap: definitions, treatment principles, recuperation process



Handicap: definitions, treatment principles, recuperation process



Bulletin de l'Academie Nationale de Medecine 178(7): 1301-16; Discussion 1316-7



The traditional model of disease takes no account of its implications in daily life. The concept of handicap originates from the medical, social and economic dimension essential for the individual as well as for the community. Notions of impairment, disability and disadvantage were used to construct a relationship model involving the whole chain of phenomena linked to the initial disease (ICIDH). The handicap situation results from an incompatibility in the triple confrontation of an individual, a life scheme and an environment. Whether disadvantage occurs or not for a same type of impairment, depends on the situation. Handicap means maladaptation of an individual to his context or his environment. Given the endless possible schemes, an individualized and methodical analysis is imperative to deliver comprehensive treatments respectively applied to: the individual himself directly (to do again or to do otherwise) or indirectly by means of appliances to avoid disability (to cope with), the social, occupational, physical and economico-administrative environment (not to be faced anymore with) by restricting as far as possible the number of solutions which imply deviations from the ordinary environment and thereby "stigmatize" the handicap. The plan has to be changed when previous measures are proved ineffective (not to have to do anymore); another plan for life has to be actively constructed and adopted. Anyway, maintaining independence is a significant goal ("to lead one's life according to one's own rules").

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Accession: 046211297

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PMID: 7895106


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