PURPOSE : To investigate the role that rehabilitation professionals play in the rehabilitation
of children with disabilities in the rural and under-resourced community of Giyani in
METHOD : A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive approach was used. Semi-structured
to-face interviews were used to collect data from a convenient sample of eight
rehabilitation professionals. Data were transcribed verbatim by two trained students and
verified by the main researcher. An inductive approach to qualitative data analysis was used.
In vivo and open coding were used to generate codes.
RESULTS : Analysis of data resulted in 21 codes, 9 subcategories, 5 categories and 1 theme.
The role of rehabilitation professionals was described in terms of the five categories which are
to examine newborn babies and children at risk, support caregivers of children with disabilities,
impart skills training for caregivers of children with disabilities, rehabilitate children with
disabilities and conduct follow-ups in communities where the children with disabilities reside.
CONCLUSION : The role that rehabilitation professionals play in the rural and under-resourced
community of Giyani in South Africa is similar to the role played in high-income countries.
The role that rehabilitation professionals play is not only focused on the child but also on the
The article is based on a PhD thesis of D.M. C.E. was the
promoter of the thesis and contributed towards the drafting
of the article.