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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


BARROS, Fabio Batalha Monteiro de. Poliomyelitis, philanthropy and physiotherapy: the birth of the career of physiotherapist in Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.3, pp.941-954. ISSN 1678-4561.

The polio epidemics in the country and especially in Rio de Janeiro left hundreds of children with sequels in the 1950s. The public outcry over the polio epidemic, the reports in the press and the association of experienced physicians with businessmen, bankers and relatives of victims created the conditions for the emergence of a philanthropic entity to combat infantile paralysis. The Brazilian Beneficent Association of Rehabilitation (BBAR) was founded in 1954, and two years later the association created the School of Rehabilitation of Rio de Janeiro (SRRJ), the first institution to graduate physiotherapists in the country. This article presents a socio-historical analysis of the establishment of physiotherapy as a profession in Rio de Janeiro in the course of the creation and accreditation of the School of Rehabilitation. It is concluded that the polio epidemics played a central role in the creation of the School of Rehabilitation and that conversely this institution had a strong influence in the recognition of physiotherapy as a health profession in the country.

Keywords : Physiotherapist; Physiotherapy; Polio; BBAR; SRRJ; Rehabilitation.

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