White Book on Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) in Europe. Chapter 7. The clinical field of competence: PRM in practice

European Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Bodies Alliance, Stefano Negrini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In the context of the White Book on Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) in Europe this paper deals with the scope and competencies of PRM starting from its definition as the "medicine of functioning." PRM uses the rehabilitative health strategy as its core strategy together with the curative strategy. According to the complexity of disabling health conditions, PRM also refers to prevention and maintenance and provides information to the patients and other caregivers. The rehabilitation process according to the so-called rehabilitation cycle including an assessment and definition of the (individual) rehabilitation goals, assignment to the rehabilitation program evaluation of individual outcomes. PRM physicians treat a wide spectrum of diseases and take a transversal across most of the medical specialties. They also focus on many functional problems such as immobilization, spasticity, pain syndromes, communication disorders, and others. The diagnosis in PRM is the interaction between the medical diagnosis and a PRM-specific functional assessment. The latter is based on the ICF conceptual framework, and obtained through functional evaluations and scales: these are classified according to their main focus on impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions; environmental and personal factors are included as barriers or facilitators. Interventions in PRM are either provided directly by PRM physicians or within the PRM team. They include a wide range of treatments, including medicines, physical therapies, exercises, education and many others. Standardized PRM programs are available for many diseases and functional problems. In most cases rehabilitation is performed in multi-professional teams working in a collaborative way, as well as with other disciplines under the leadership of a PRM physician and it is a patient-centered approach. Outcomes of PRM interventions and programs, showed reduction of impairments in body functions, activity limitations, and impacting on participation restrictions, and also reduction in costs as well as decrease in mortality for certain groups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-260
Number of pages31
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Books
  • Clinical Competence
  • Europe
  • Exercise Therapy/standards
  • Humans
  • Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Professional Practice/standards


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