Online Course
Understanding the Rehabilitation Needs of Displaced Persons Programme
Learn how to meet the needs of refugees and displaced persons at each stage of the migration process

28-30 hours





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Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems

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UPDATE: A new Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation of Displaced Persons Programme is now available and has replaced this programme of courses. Follow this link to start the courses in the Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation of Displaced Persons Programme.


People have always been on the move for many reasons, including war and conflict, insecurity, disasters, poverty, and to find work and seek a better life for themselves and their families. But more people are now on the move than ever before in our history, with migration increasing every year over the last two decades, particularly forced migration. In 2021, 89.3 million people were forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations. This is more than double the 42.7 million people who were forcibly displaced a decade ago, and the highest it has been since World War II. Current evidence suggests that this number will continue to rise, with over 100 million people estimated to be displaced in 2022.

The need for rehabilitation services to meet the needs of displaced persons at each stage of the migration process is an urgent and growing global issue. The impact of forced migration on health and well-being is contributing to rapid global increases in the numbers of people experiencing a decline in functioning, resulting in enormous unmet rehabilitation needs. Much of these unmet needs are concentrated amongst the poorest and most vulnerable populations. Low- and middle-income countries host 83% of all displaced persons, with 27% hosted in the least developed countries, including Bangladesh, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Yemen. These countries are often ill-equipped to cope with the increasing need for rehabilitation services.

The role of the health and social care professional is key in the rehabilitation process for displaced persons and this series of courses provides a comprehensive perspective on the effects of displacement on health. It considers the competencies necessary to deliver quality care across the broad scope of rehabilitation needed by displaced persons through all stages of the migration process. This programme of seven courses will involve around 4-6 hours of work each week, depending on your learning style. For each of the seven courses, after passing the final quiz and completing all of the required learning activities, participants will receive a completion certificate, CPD points and any CEUs available. Note - Submitting a written assignment to complete the overall Understanding the Rehabilitation Needs of Displaced Persons course programme is optional.


This programme of courses aims to equip rehabilitation professionals with a comprehensive knowledge of rehabilitation for displaced persons so that they can play an effective part in the multidisciplinary management of displaced persons through all stages of the migration process. It also aims to enable rehabilitation professionals to play a proactive role in global and local efforts to increase access to high-quality rehabilitation for displaced persons through all stages of the migration process.


This programme will cover the following topics:

  1. Global Context for Displaced Persons
  2. Health and Well Being for Displaced Persons
  3. Communication and Trauma-Informed Care for Displaced Persons
  4. Considerations for Working with Different Displaced Person Populations
  5. Considerations and Practical Tools for Working with Survivors of Sexual Violence and Trafficking
  6. Considerations for Working with Survivors of Torture
  7. Assessment and Management of Displaced Persons with Pain

Target audience

This course is aimed at rehabilitation professionals, students and assistants including but not limited to Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Rehabilitation Doctors, Rehabilitation Nurses, Prosthetists, Orthotists, Psychologists, Audiologists, Dietetics, Social Workers. Community Health Workers, Nurses or Medical Doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 28-30 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.
Types of Activities - Reading Physiopedia pages, journal articles, book chapters. Watching videos. Attempting quizzes. Participating in an international discussion forum.
Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 27.7 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this programme of courses and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Complete each of the required courses
  5. Submit a written assignment that passes the assessment criteria.
  6. Complete a course evaluation form.
Featured reviews
It is a very holistic course that is eye-opening on so many levels. The Displaced Person setting is the one I wish to practice in for the future. I feel that I received enough subject matter to research on my own and immediately apply to my patients who fit this particular patient population!
Audrey Chien
Physical Therapist
United States
This course has inspired me to help the displaced population! I aspire to travel to Syria, Sudan, or Ethiopia to help people, provide service, and help with rehabilitation. Thank you, Plus, for the best MOOC and make us learn!
Phalak Pankaj Buch
This course was fantastic-informative and effective in its presentation style. I'm completely inspired and now have the knowledge to work with this population!
Sarah Tucker
United States