The meaning of community rehabilitation for schizophrenia patients in Israel

Uri Mazor, Israel Doron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the year 2000, a law was passed in Israel, known as the Law for Community Rehabilitation of the Mentally Disabled. The Community Rehabilitation Law was intended to provide a "package of services" that will allow people who suffer from mental illness and were hospitalized, to return to their community. This research, by using qualitative research methods, tried to understand and explore the meaning of rehabilitation and return to the community under the new legislative setting from the viewpoint and experiences of the participants themselves. Fifteen schizophrenic patients were interviewed in this research. All the participants were institutionalized in the past and released for rehabilitation in the community under Israel's new act. The data were collected after all interviews were recorded and analyzed. The qualitative data analysis exposed a continuous process of four conceptual categories: (1) Viewing institutionalization as transformation from the "normal" to the "abnormal"; (2) Viewing institutionalization as a process moving from the "abnormal" back to the "normal"; (3) Viewing the return to the community as "re-birth"; and finally, (4) Viewing community-based rehabilitation as reality, which enables normality alongside mental illness. This research presents a theoretical model that provides the meanings and experiences of the participants as a continuity, in which the whole process of moving from the community to the institution and back to the community is represented as one continuous process integrated in each other. Within this continuing process, the community-based rehabilitation legislation serves as a key component, well-integrated within the whole continuum that allows people with mental illness to return to "normality" within the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Community-based rehabilitation
  • Mental illness
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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