Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Developing an Assessment Tool for Post-Surgical Paediatric Rehabilitative Care in Tanzania: ...


A- A+
Alt. Display

Original Research Articles

Developing an Assessment Tool for Post-Surgical Paediatric Rehabilitative Care in Tanzania: an Interprofessional Approach


Ambria Crusan ,

St. Catherine University, US
About Ambria

Ambria (Ph.D, MS, RD/LD) is a registered Dietician with four years of experience in Clinical Nutrition and six years in teaching and research. Her areas of expertise are nutrition assessment and diet quality.

X close

Jennifer Biggs,

St. Catherine University, US
About Jennifer
Dr. Biggs (PT, Ph.D., M.PH, CWS) is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at St. Catherine University. She has 24 years of clinical experience in wound management, acute care and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Dr. Biggs’ research interests include service delivery models in physical therapy and community-based participatory research, both locally and internationally
X close

Kristen Maisano,

St. Catherine University, US
About Kristen
Kristen (OTD, OTR/L) is an Occupational therapist with experience in behavioral health, evidence-based interventions for persons with traumatic brain injury, and mental wellness for college students.
X close

Michelle Palmborg,

Metropolitan State University, US
About Michelle
Michelle (DNP, RN, PHN) is a registered nurse with over 10 years of clinical experience and five years of experience in teaching, quality improvement, evaluation and interventions for persons with toxic stress
X close

Georgianne Kinsman,

St. Catherine University, US
About Georgianne
Georgianne (MPH) is an early public health professional interested in advancing health equity locally and globally.
X close

Keira DiSpirito,

The Plaster House, TZ
About Keira
Keira (OTR/L) is an Occupational Therapist with seven years of experience as the Medical Care and Expansion Manager at The Plaster House in Arusha, Tanzania
X close

Kari Hartwig

St. Catherine University, US
About Kari
Kari (DrPH, MA) is a public health professional with more than 25 years experience in teaching, global program management and evaluation, and health disparities research.
X close


Purpose: Located in Arusha, Tanzania, The Plaster House provides rehabilitative services to children receiving surgical care for treatable disabilities. This article describes a set of outcome measurements developed in a collaborative relationship between an evaluation team from The Plaster House staff and St. Catherine University faculty, focused on effectively and efficiently collecting post-operative evaluation and outcome data from a rehabilitative care facility for children with treatable disabilities.

Method: From seven care pathways utilised for surgically treatable disabilities (cleft lip and  palate, spina bifida, skeletal fluorosis, osteomyelitis, burns, clubfoot and hydrocephalus), an interactive process led to the development of a medical assessment tool for monitoring and evaluation with limited electronic health record and staffing capacity.

Results: The medical assessment tool serves multiple purposes for the rehabilitation programme, including monitoring participants’ progress, evaluating the effectiveness of current practices, and sharing data with stakeholders. The tool includes collection of demographic and background information, one to three diagnosis-specific indicators to measure progress, and three questions related to typical development (activities of daily living, play, and social interaction).

Conclusion and Implications: Due to the delayed ability to conduct a site visit, the evaluation team relied heavily on effective communication to sufficiently relay challenges and successes in developing and implementing the tool. The proposed medical assessment tool developed by an interprofessional team has the potential to feasibly capture post-operative outcome measurements during rehabilitative care.

How to Cite: Crusan, A., Biggs, J., Maisano, K., Palmborg, M., Kinsman, G., DiSpirito, K. and Hartwig, K., 2022. Developing an Assessment Tool for Post-Surgical Paediatric Rehabilitative Care in Tanzania: an Interprofessional Approach. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 33(2), pp.41–55. DOI:
Published on 05 Aug 2022.


  • PDF (EN)