A Cross-sectional Survey of Rehabilitation Service Provision for Children with Brain Injury in Selangor, Malaysia

Ee Lin Tay, Chee Piau Wong


Purpose:  Rehabilitation services in Malaysia are provided by both governmental and non-governmental agencies but there are challenges, such as the lack of integration between agencies, and accessibility barriers to services especially for the population of urban poor and people in the rural areas. With the help of a survey, this project aimed to gain a better understanding of rehabilitation services provided for children with brain injury within the state of Selangor and Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Method:  A list of 205 organisations that provide rehabilitation services for children with neurological injuries was compiled. The researchers attempted to verify the services by visiting the facilities or via telephone or email communication if visits were not possible.

Results: The researchers were able to verify 83% of the organisations identified. There are 40 hospitals and 17 service providers for acute and / or chronic physical rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities of all ages, including children.

Conclusion: Findings showed the unequal distribution of rehabilitation service provision by districts. Service providers were concentrated in the urban areas. Setting up new healthcare facilities is one of the solutions but the costs for development, construction, and manpower could be high. An alternative solution is proposed, namely, the use of a home-based virtual rehabilitation programme.


Availability; accessibility; unequal distribution

Full Text:



Adams R, Jones A, Lefmann S, Sheppard L (2015). Rationing is a reality in rural physiotherapy: A qualitative exploration of service level decision-making. BMC Health Services Research; 15: 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-0786-3. PMid:25880469 PMCid:PMC4383192

Amar HS (2008). Meeting the needs of children with disability in Malaysia. Medical Journal of Malaysia [Online]: 63. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18935722. PMid:18935722

Ariff KM, Teng CL (2002). Rural health care in Malaysia. The Australian Journal of Rural Health; 10: 99-103. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1584.2002.tb00017.x. PMid:12047504

Balakrishnan M, Kumaresan V (2014). Children with disabilities in Malaysia: Mapping the policies, programmes, interventions and stakeholders [Online]. Available from: UNICEF Malaysia website: https://www.unicef.org/malaysia/UNICEF-Children_with_Disability_in_Malaysia_2014_lowres.pdf.

Barnes C (2001). Rethinking care from the perspective of disabled people: Conference report and recommendations [Online]. Available from: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/67768/1/a78624.pdf.

Bury T (2005). Primary health care and community based rehabilitation: Implications for physical therapy. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal [Online]: 16. Available from: http://english.aifo.it/disability/apdrj/apdrj205/phc-cbr.pdf.

Department of Statistics (2015). Population distribution and basic demographic characteristic report 2010 [Online]. Putrajaya, Malaysia. Available from: https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/cthemeByCat&cat=117&bul_id=MDMxdHZjWTk1SjFzTzNkRXYzcVZjdz09&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09#.

Dzalani H, Shamsuddin K (2014). A review of definitions and identifications of specific learning disabilities in Malaysia and challenges in provision of services. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities [Online]:22. Available from: http://www.pertanika.upm.edu.my/view_archives.php?journal=JSSH-22-1-3.

Galvin J, Mcdonald R, Catroppa C, Anderson V (2011). Does intervention using virtual reality improve upper limb function in children with neurological impairment: A systematic review of the evidence. Brain injury; 25: 435-442. https://doi.org/10.3109/02699052.2011.558047. PMid:21401370

Hellweg S, Johannes S (2008). Physiotherapy after traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of the literature. Brain injury; 22: 365-373. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699050801998250. PMid:18415716

Ministry of Health (1999). Health technology assessment: Stroke rehabilitation [Online]. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Available from: http://www.moh.gov.my/english.php/pages/view/199.

Ministry of Health (2010a). Annual report 2010 [Online]. Putrajaya, Malaysia. Available from: www.moh.gov.my/images/gallery/publications/md/ar/2010.pdf.

Ministry of Health (2010b). The country health plan: 10th Malaysia plan 2011-2015 [Online]. Putrajaya, Malaysia. Available from: http://www.moh.gov.my/images/gallery/Report/Country_health.pdf.

Ministry of Health Singapore (2017). Health manpower [Online]. Singapore. Available from: https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/statistics/Health_Facts_Singapore/Health_Manpower.html.

Pathmanathan I (2015). Human resources for health, country profiles 2015 Malaysia [Online]. Kuala Lumpur. Available from: http://iris.wpro.who.int/handle/10665.1/10530.

Penchansky R, Thomas JW (1981). The concept of access: Definition and relationship to consumer satisfaction. Medical Care [Online]: 19. Available from: https://www.jstor.org/journal/medicalcare.

https://doi.org/10.1097/00005650-198102000-00001. PMid:7206846

Physiotherapy Board of Australia (2017). Statistics [Online]. Australia. Available from: http://www.physiotherapyboard.gov.au/About/Statistics.aspx.

Puvanachandra P, Hyder AA (2009). The burden of traumatic brain injury in Asia: A call for research. Pakistan Journal of Neurological Sciences [Online]: 4. Available from: http://tbimedlegal.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/TBIinASIA.pdf.

Sivasampu S, Foo CY, Aimi NJ, Kamilah D (2015). National healthcare establishments & workforce statistics (NHEWS)- Hospital 2012-2013 [Online]. =Available from: http://www.crc.gov.my/nhsi/.

Tay EL, Lee SWH, Jamaluddin SF, Tam CL, Wong CP (2016). The epidemiology of childhood brain injury in the state of Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. BMC Pediatrics; 16: 56.

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-016-0590-1. PMid:27122016. PMCid:PMC4847198

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Centre (2014). Guide to rehabilitation services [Online]. Available from: http://www.vcuhealth.org/?id=854&sid=1.

World Health Organisation (2011). World report on disability [Online]. Available from: http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/en/.

World Health Organisation (2017a). Rehabilitation 2030: A call for action [Online]. Available from: http://www.who.int/disabilities/care/Rehab2030MeetingReport_plain_text_version.pdf.

World Health Organisation (2017b). Total expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (US$) [Online]. Available from: http://www.who.int/gho/health_financing/total_expenditure/en/.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v29i2.750

Copyright (c) 2018 Ee Lin Tay, Chee Piau Wong

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Supported by:


© Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development