Community integration: Conceptual issues and measurement approaches in rehabilitation research

M. Dijkers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The term community (re-)integration is used in human services fields to refer to being part of the mainstream of family and community life, discharging normal roles and responsibilities, and being an active and contributing member of one's social groups and of society as a whole. Definitions of the concept are reviewed in this article, and dimensions of community integration that could be included in a measurement instrument are listed, with the corresponding metrics discussed. Problems of measurement are also discussed, including the issue of 'normal' community integration and the causes of 'deficits' in integration. Measures of closely related concepts such as instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs), independent living, social health, social adjustment, and quality of life are described, with a focus on their potential use as measures of community integration or its aspects. Throughout, the focus is on (potential) applications in research on persons with spinal cord injury. Finally, suggestions are made for further development of comprehensive measures of community integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychometrics
  • Social adjustment
  • Spinal cord injury


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