Soziale ungleichheit in der medizinischen rehabilitation

Translated title of the contribution: Social inequality in medical rehabilitation

R. Deck*

*Corresponding author for this work
22 Citations (Scopus)


The association of social inequality and health is well known and well documented. Numerous studies have shown that a lower socio-economic status is associated with higher morbidity and mortality. This association is caused by various circumstances such as unfavourable work and living conditions, unhealthy life styles and risk factors and, last but not least, the access to medical care depending on socio-economic status. These aspects are correlated in various ways, at any rate they cause a higher prevalence of diseases and lower quality of life in persons with lower socio-economic status. The present article discusses the association between social inequality and medical rehabilitation, a problem which is rarely investigated in present research on social inequality and health. In our study, 911 rehabilitation patients were included. Analyses of socio-economic differences with respect to rehabilitation care address the following questions: are there differences in access to medical rehabilitation, in rehabilitation care, with respect to success of rehabilitation and satisfaction with rehabilitation? To assign patients to a social class - lower, middle and upper class - we constructed an indicator of social status based on education, occupation and income level. Our findings in a sample of rehabilitation patients are in line with the results of existing research on social inequality and health. Patients from the lower social class enter the rehabilitation care system with a poorer health state and leave it with less favourable results than patients with higher social status. However, with regard to the effect of rehabilitation care, middle class patients benefit least. It can be speculated that systematic information of patients about the aims of the rehabilitation programme and specific after care focusing on relevant aspects of daily living may reduce the disadvantages of lower class patients.

Translated title of the contributionSocial inequality in medical rehabilitation
Original languageGerman
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)582-589
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 10.2008


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