Definition of Rehabilitation Science

Rehabilitation Science is an integrated science dedicated to the study of human function and participation and its relationship to health and well-being.

By its very nature, rehabilitation science is broad and multi-faceted. In RSI, we have chosen to address the breadth of rehabilitation science by designating six fields:

Movement Science:
the integration and synthesis of knowledge from basic sciences, social sciences and applied sciences for the purpose of studying questions related to understanding the prevention of movement-related impairments, and the maintenance, enhancement and rehabilitation of human physical activity for persons whose physical capabilities are, or are perceived to be, challenged by disease and injury.
Occupational Science:
a basic science dedicated to the systematic study of human occupation. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry, it addresses the form, function, and meaning of human occupation and its relationship to health and well-being. The science informs and is informed by many other discipline including psychology, anthropology, sociology, human movement science, medical science and economics.
Rehabilitation Health Services Studies:
a multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to rehabilitation health care, the quality and cost of rehabilitation health care, and ultimately health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, practitioners, institutions, communities, and populations.
Rehabilitation Technology Sciences:
the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise in the design, development and evaluation of assistive technology to enhance the function and well-being of people with disabilities and their caregivers and to enable people to participate fully in day to day living.
Social and Cognitive Rehabilitation Sciences:
cognitive science concerns the study of the mind: its capacities and the brain structures/processes that underlie those capacities. Social science addresses human systems, namely the relationship between individuals and larger groups, such as family, community and work. The cognitive and social sciences in rehabilitation are concerned with lost and altered cognitive functioning and social functioning with the aim of enhancing functional competence in real-world situations.
Speech-Language Pathology:
the generation and integration of basic and applied science-generated, clinician-generated and client-generated knowledge for the purpose of addressing questions related to the understanding of factors at the neural, physiological, anatomical, social and environmental levels that impair human communication and swallowing functions and to utilize this knowledge to inform clinical practice to improve screening, assessment and intervention techniques for preventing, reversing or minimizing the negative impact of such factors.