Inpatient Rehabilitation Diabetes Consult Service: A Rehabilitation Psychology Approach to Assessment and Intervention

Kristina P. Schumann, Pegah Touradji, Felicia Hill-Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problem: Diabetes clinical practice recommendations call for assessment and intervention on diabetes self-management during inpatient hospitalization. Although diabetes is prevalent in inpatient rehabilitation settings, diabetes self-management has not traditionally been a focus of inpatient rehabilitation psychology care. This is because diabetes is often a secondary diagnosis when an individual is admitted to rehabilitation for an acute event. Objectives: The authors provide a rationale for a role for rehabilitation psychologists in assessing and intervening on the psychosocial, behavioral, and functional self-management needs of individuals with diabetes within the rehabilitation setting. The development of a rehabilitation psychology Inpatient Rehabilitation Diabetes Consultation Service is described. Theoretical and empirical bases for compilation of the assessment and intervention materials are provided. Format and implementation of the service on a university-affiliated inpatient rehabilitation unit is described, with special consideration given to professional issues faced by rehabilitation psychologists and teams. Results: A flexible consultation model was implemented using a guided diabetes psychosocial assessment with brief educational handouts addressing selected key topics (i.e., hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, blood sugar monitoring, nutrition, physical activity, medication, and, A1C and average blood sugar). The consultation service was feasible and well-accepted by treated individuals and the rehabilitation team. Conclusions: Rehabilitation psychologists are uniquely positioned to address the functional, psychosocial, and behavioral needs of individuals with diabetes. With further research to assess clinical outcomes, this approach may further address practice recommendations for inpatient diabetes care. Moreover, such a diabetes consultation model may be useful on an outpatient rehabilitation basis as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Diabetes
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Medical consultation
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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