The European Federation of NeuroRehabilitation Societies (EFNR) is an international, nonpartisan, non-denominational, nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to research, education, intellectual and scientific exchange, and advocacy in the field of NeuroRehabilitation medicine and related professional areas of expertise in Europe.
Founded in 2009, the EFNR was created as a European forum for national and regional neurorehabilitation organizations and medical societies seeking an effective, consolidated, strategical, European-wide outreach.
In December 2021, the general assembly of the European Federation of NeuroRehabilitation Societies (EFNR) approved, upon voting, the new structure of the organization, as per below:
- The Core Presidium (voting rights):
- Dafin Muresanu (Romania) – President
- Volker Homberg (Germany) – Vice President
- Dana Boering (Germany) – Secretary General
- Caterina Pistarini (Italy) – Research and Education Affairs
- Karin Diserens (Switzerland) – Health Economics
- Elia Fischer (Switzerland) – Young Clinicians
- The Extended Presidium (no voting rights)
- Heinrich Binder (Austria)
- Giorgio Sandrini (Italy)
- Leopold Saltuari (Austria)
- Alla Guekht (Russia)
- Oliver Kaut (Germany)
- Dimitar Maslarov (Bulgaria)
- Caroline Renner (Austria)
The Presidium is responsible for the good governing of the organization. Some of its obligations are: to propose an annual budget (business plan), an annual report of the activities, and an annual closing report of finances; to inform the members of the organization about its activities and approved financial status; to administer the assets of the organization, to accept or exclude members of the organization, a.s.o.
The EFNR Administrative Office is active in Cluj-Napoca (37 Mircea Eliade Street), Romania
Building upon a multidisciplinary approach and its core values of integrity, excellence, dedication, and respect, The European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies is committed to:
- enhancing the awareness of neurorehabilitation;
- providing training and education;
- fostering research and collaboration;
- producing clinical guidelines.
To achieve this, EFNR provides a forum for all professionals interested in neurorehabilitation across Europe and is oriented towards bringing new member societies and partner societies by the end of 2022. At the same time, the Federation strives to create a scientific/academic and work environment oriented towards patient care.
The EFNR works in close partnership with the World Federation of NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) and will consult and collaborate with the WFNR concerning the planning and organizing of joint scientific events and other related activities.
EFNR’s actions aim to create a multidisciplinary European hub where knowledge exchange takes place, allowing for its complex derivatives to be capitalized both in educational or research products or decisions to be implemented at the national or European level. In order to reach this scope, the EFNR stands on a three-pillar structure consisting of the following objectives:
- Sustain and deepen the development of neurorehabilitation in all European countries, including the interaction with political authorities and decision-makers;
- Host a forum for all health professionals involved in neurorehabilitation across Europe;
- Enable young clinicians and scientists to work on a joint platform and provide tools for education and training.
The EFNR permanently looks to expand its network by developing a Memorandum of Understanding with other related Sub-Speciality European or international societies. In this respect, we are working with organizations like the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), NeurotechEU (a European consortium of 8 universities dedicated to continuous integration of education, research, and innovation in the academic framework), international research institutes and scientific journals. Our main goal is to set up joint activities regarding congress sessions, educational endeavors, and clinical guidelines.
Moreover, the EFNR has been affiliated with the Intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders 2022–2031 (GAP), a WHO initiative determined by the fact that neurological disorders became the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years and the second leading cause of death globally. The draft was disseminated to the Member States, UN agencies, and relevant non-State actors. The consolidated document was submitted and adopted at the 75th World Health Assembly in May 2022.
Besides the traditional congresses, conferences, summer schools, and seminars, the EFNR has defined a working framework for a European core curriculum in neurorehabilitation.
The curriculum of the training program would allow both for:
- achieving a homogenous neurorehab-specific knowledge background for all medical professionals active in the field;
- adapting to the variable local postgraduate programs in European countries.
To date, medical education lacks Europe-wide standards on neurorehabilitation. To address this, the EFNR proposes a postgraduate neurorehabilitation training scheme that would allow physicians in neurorehabilitation to benefit from a balanced mix of knowledge and skills in neuro and rehabilitation science.
Inclusion criteria for the trainees:
- a qualification in neurology or neurosurgery;
- physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists could also be eligible if they had at least 12 months of formal training in neurology or neurosurgery during their residency;
- neuropaediatric specialists, upon inclusion, will receive different modules for classroom education.
The trainers and institutions that are part of the European medical core curriculum in neurorehabilitation would also need to have appropriate qualifications. Thus, the former would need to have at least three (3) years of experience in the field of neurorehabilitation – a qualification guaranteed by the national societies, and the latter would need to provide a full range of rehabilitation services and have a sufficient number of staff members in the necessary therapeutic subdisciplines (motor therapies, speech and language therapy, cognitive and emotional therapies, social workers. Additionally, the institution must be equipped with all necessary diagnostic tools (electrophysiology, sonography, access to neuroimaging), and it should provide a complete set of assessment tools in the various domains of neurological impairments to be used in neurorehabilitation. Finally, a minimum number of 200 patients per with neurorehabilitation problems year should be treated by the institution.
In particular, the European medical core curriculum in neurorehabilitation would allow for flexible adaptation to different residency and postgraduate training in individual countries. This proficiency program would be based on a two-folded curriculum:
- A two-year residency with practical experience in an appropriate neurorehabilitation setting;
- A classroom teaching program made up of six (6) modules, 16 hours each, to be taught during the residency period in the form of either seminars or summer/winter schools.
The intensive training should be finalised with an oral examination, and upon passing, the trainee would be handed out a certificate issued by the individual national societies for neurorehabilitations.
In conclusion, after defining the European medical core curriculum in neurorehabilitation, the subsequent activities of the EFNR would be to try and reach the largest possible consensus on its content among all national societies across Europe. The purpose of the consensus would be to further validate the European medical core curriculum in neurorehabilitation and extend it to the other non-medical professionals on the neurorehabilitation team in line with their core curricula defined by each professional association.
Any national society interested in neurological rehabilitation shall be eligible for membership in this category. The Core Presidium shall decide the membership status as per Constitution.
Membership of the EFNR shall be open to any professional interested in the development of neurological rehabilitation.