This article explores COVID-19 related experiences of disabled people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Narrative interviews generated storied responses, focussing on respondents' priorities, which enabled us to hear what was most significant for them and their families. 143 interviews were conducted online or by phone by 7 local researchers (3 disabled), with appropriate inclusive support. Nearly everyone was interviewed twice to capture the progression of impacts over time. The data was analysed thematically through a virtual participatory approach. An overarching 'subjective' theme of feelings experienced by the participants was labelled 'destabilisation, disorientation and uncertainty'. We also identified 'concrete' or material impacts. People experienced various dilemmas such as choosing between securing food and keeping safe, and tensions between receiving support and feeling increased vulnerability or dependence, with interplay between the emotions of fear, loss and hope. We found both the concept of liminality and grief models productive in understanding the progression of participants' experiences. Disabled people reported the same feelings, difficulties and impacts as others, reported in other literature, but often their pre-existing disadvantages have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, gender and impairment related stresses and discrimination, inaccessible services or relief, and exclusion from government initiatives.
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The authors of this paper have protested, fought, written extensively and represent the broader theoretical foundations of Indigenous and disability research by focusing on their standpoint perspectives informed by their ancestral spirits and knowledge. Based on our knowledge, cultures, and advocacy skills, this paper collectively explores and compares the intersections of Indigeneity and disability as an embodied identity in four countries: USA, Canada, Sweden, and Australia. This is accomplished by beginning with a brief synopsis of colonization to provide context and then examine the consequences of Western assimilation practices, including academic support of the Western status quo. The paper will then turn to the impact of both colonization and academic constructs on Indigenous epistemologies and ideas of self in disability dialogues. Finally, the paper will focus on Indigenous concepts of difference to not only advance Western disability discussions, but also as a way for Western dialogue to overcome its predilection to hierarchical binaries.
Purpose: To present the process used to develop the low back pain (LBP) assessment tool including evaluation of the initial content validity of the tool.
Methods: The development process comprised the elements: definition of construct and content, literature search, item generation, needs assessment, piloting, adaptations, design, and technical production. The LBP assessment tool was developed to assess the construct “functioning and disability” as defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Involvement of patients and health professionals was essential.
Results: The elements were collapsed into five steps. In total, 18 patients and 12 health professionals contributed to the content and the design of the tool. The LBP assessment tool covered all ICF components shared among 63 ICF categories.
Conclusions: This study presents the process used to develop the LBP assessment tool, which is the first tool to address all ICF components and integrate biopsychosocial perspectives provided by patients and health professionals in the same tool. Initial evaluation of content validity showed adequate reflection of the construct “functioning and disability”. Further work on the way will evaluate comprehensiveness, acceptability, and degree of implementation of the LBP assessment tool to strengthen its use for clinical practice.
Purpose: The aim was to culturally validate a questionnaire about children’s/youth’s participation to be used in a Swedish context.
Methods: FUNDES-Child, based on the well-established CASP, was chosen. Questions about engagement and hindering factors were added to the existing questions about frequency and independence in 20 activity areas. Using a qualitative, explorative design, 16 interviews with children/youths/caregivers were made to explore opinions about the questionnaire. Follow-up interviews confirmed the result of the revised questionnaire. Qualitative content analysis was performed.
Results: The interviews provided support for the questionnaire’s relevance by being a tool to assess important aspects of participation, to gain insights into one’s own/the child’s participation, and to promote ideas about what causes the degree of participation. To achieve comprehensiveness, no activity area was found to be missing nor superfluous. However, some examples were needed to be modified where “parades” are unusual in Sweden and therefore removed, while “singing in choir” was added. In search for comprehensibility, opinions about the layout of the first version were raised and a varying degree of understanding of wording and concepts were found and thus taken into account.
Conclusions: The questionnaire can be used for establishing meaningful goals and to potentially increase children’s participation.
Background: The recent COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread international restrictions, severely impacting on health and social care services. For many individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) this meant reduced access to services and support for them and their carers.
Aim: The aim of this study was to gain insight into the ways parents of adults with ID coped during the rst 2020 lockdown period.
Methods: Eight parents of adults with ID were interviewed. The recordings of these interviews were subjected to a thematic analysis.
Results: Four main themes were identied: powerless and unappreciated; coping under lockdown; support; and the impact of lockdown on well-being.
Conclusions: The parents of adults with ID who made up our sample reported that they received little support from services and experienced a sense of powerlessness. Nevertheless, they were open to accepting support from family and friends and showed remarkable resilience. These Findings are discussed in the light of the Willner et al. (2020) survey results on parental mental health and coping, and suggestions for future service provision during pandemic conditions are proposed.
Background: Albinism in humans is characterised by a reduced amount of pigment (melanin) present in the skin, hair follicles and the eye; approximately 7000–10 000 Malawians of all ages are affected. Children with these features face extreme forms of human rights abuses, even death.
Objectives: This study aims to describe Malawian mothers’ experiences, perceptions and understanding of raising children with albinism (CWA).
Methods: The study was conducted in 2018 using a qualitative descriptive design, with purposive sampling and voluntary participation. Mothers, 18 years and older, who had given birth to a CWA and who attended the dermatology clinic of a local public hospital participated. An interview guide used during standardised, open-ended interviews was translated from English to Chichewa using forward and backward translation. Interviews were conducted in Chichewa, audio recorded, transcribed and forward and back translated from English to Chichewa. Thematic data analysis was employed.
Results: The mean age of participants (N = 10) was 33 years; two had albinism. Emerging themes confirmed the existence of myths and stereotypes regarding albinism but from the mothers’ perspectives. Mothers reported: (1) some experiences of emotional pain, initially, but also love and acceptance of their children, despite adverse reactions of others; (2) their experiences of stigmatisation of their children and themselves, and of intended harm to their children, and (3) their own lack of knowledge and understanding of albinism.
Conclusion: In our limited study, mothers’ self-reported experiences of raising CWA in Malawi highlight the need for educational programmes on albinism at national level, particularly for families with a CWA, health professionals and educators.
Background: The last decade has seen researchers and speech–language pathologists employ and advocate for a disability studies approach in the study of the lived experiences of people who stutter and in the design of interventions and treatment approaches for such individuals. Joshua St. Pierre, one of the few theorists to explore stuttering as a disability, mentions as a key issue the liminal nature of people who stutter when describing their disabling experiences.
Objectives: This article aimed to build on the work of St. Pierre, exploring the liminal nature of people who stutter.
Method: Drawing on my personal experiences of stuttering as a coloured South African man, I illuminated the liminal nature of stuttering.
Results: This analytic autoethnography demonstrates how the interpretation of stuttering as the outcome of moral failure leads to the discrimination and oppression of people who stutter by able-bodied individuals as well as individuals who stutter.
Conclusion: As long as stuttering is interpreted as the outcome of moral failure, the stigma and oppression, as well as the disablism experience by people who stutter, will continue to be concealed and left unaddressed.
Purpose: To compare outcomes in employed people from an enhanced routine management pathway for musculoskeletal disorders within National Health Service Scotland with an existing active case-management system, Working Health Services Scotland.
Materials and methods: The study comprised a service evaluation using anonymised routinely collected data from all currently employed callers presenting with musculoskeletal disorder to the two services. Baseline demographic and clinical data were collected. EuroQol EQ-5DTM scores at the start and end of treatment were compared for both groups, overall and by age, sex, socio-economic status, and anatomical site, and the impact of mental health status at baseline was evaluated.
Results: Active case-management resulted in greater improvement than enhanced routine care. Case-managed service users entered the programme earlier in the recovery pathway; there was evidence of spontaneous improvement during the longer waiting time of routine service clients but only if they had good baseline mental health. Those most disadvantaged through mental health co-morbidity showed the greatest benefit.
Conclusions: People with musculoskeletal disorders who have poor baseline mental health status derive greatest benefit from active case-management. Case-management therefore contributes to reducing health inequalities and can help to minimise long-term sickness absence. Shorter waiting times contrib- uted to better outcomes in the case-managed service.
Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a combination of wheelchair mobility skills (WMS) training and exer- cise training on physical activity (PA), WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and physical fitness. Methods: Youth using a manual wheelchair (n 1⁄4 60) participated in this practice-based intervention, with a waiting list period (16 weeks), exercise training (8 weeks), WMS training (8 weeks), and follow-up (16 weeks). Repeated measures included: PA (Activ8), WMS (Utrecht Pediatric Wheelchair Mobility Skills Test), confidence in wheelchair mobility (Wheelchair Mobility Confidence Scale), and physical fitness (cardio- respiratory fitness, (an)aerobic performance) and were analysed per outcome parameter using a multilevel model analyses. Differences between the waiting list and training period were determined with an unpaired sample t-test.
Results: Multilevel model analysis showed significant positive effects for PA (p1⁄40.01), WMS (p<0.001), confidence in wheelchair mobility (p<0.001), aerobic (p<0.001), and anaerobic performance (p<0.001). Unpaired sample t-tests underscored these effects for PA (p<0.01) and WMS (p<0.001). There were no effects on cardiorespiratory fitness. The order of training (exercise before WMS) had a significant effect on confidence in wheelchair mobility.
Conclusions: A combination of exercise and WMS training appears to have significant positive long-term effects on PA, WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and (an)aerobic performance in youth using a manual wheelchair.
Purpose: To translate and cross-culturally adapt the Chelsea Critical Care Physical Assessment tool from English to German (CPAx-GE) and to examine its validity and reliability.
Materials and methods: Following a forward-backward translation including an expert round table dis- cussion, the measurement properties of the CPAx-GE were explored in critically ill, mechanically ventilated adults. We investigated construct, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural validity of the CPAx-GE with other measurement instruments at pre-specified timepoints, analysed relative reliability with intraclass correl- ation coefficients (ICCs) and determined absolute agreement with the Bland–Altman plots.
Results: Consensus for the translated CPAx-GE was reached. Validity was excellent with >80% of the pre- specified hypotheses accepted at baseline, critical care, and hospital discharge. Interrater reliability was high (ICCs > 0.8) across all visits. Limit of agreement ranged from 2 to 2 points. Error of measurement was small, floor, and ceiling effects limited.
Conclusions: The CPAx-GE demonstrated excellent construct, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural validity as well as high interrater reliability in critically ill adults with prolonged mechanical ventilation at baseline, critical care, and hospital discharge. Consequently, the CPAx-GE can be assumed equal to the original and recommended in the German-speaking area to assess physical function and activity of critically ill adults across the critical care and hospital stay.
Introduction: The western world is seeking increased implementation of assistive technology (AT) to meet the challenges of an ageing population. The objective of this study is to explore perspectives on AT use among home-dwelling older adults with or without cognitive impairment.
Methods: This study combines findings from a cross-sectional study with a questionnaire package (n = 83) and from qualitative individual interviews (n = 7) and is part of a larger study, the Assisted Living Project. Combining methods promotes complementary inquiries into a phenomenon.
Results: The participants already use ATs: TVs, social alarms, mobile phones, stove timers, electronic med- ical dispensers, PCs and tablet computers. They were both optimistic and skeptical of AT, and expressed different perspectives and expressed different perspectives on ATs in relation to usability, privacy and fear of losing personal face-to-face care.
Conclusions: This study reveals that older adults’ perspectives on AT are multifaceted and complex, and can partly be explained by the interacting factors in the HAAT model: person, technology, environment, and context. Further exploration in relation to older adults with health challenges, as well as ethical per- spectives on AT implementation, is required for this group.
The disadvantages experienced by adult persons with disabilities are well documented. However, limited evidence is available on the extent of differences in comparison with the non- disabled population. In this study, selected indicators of social status and mental wellbeing derived from past research, were used with national samples of adult persons in Ireland with a disability (n = 440) and without a disability (n = 880) recruited through household quota sampling. In addition, comparisons were drawn with equivalent data derived from a contemporaneous national census. Although many of the differences were statistically significant, the effect sizes were mostly medium to low. Moreover, when the inter-relationships among the various indicators was taken into account using Discriminant Analysis, persons with disabilities were less likely to be employed; they reported lower levels of social engagement and had poorer emotional wellbeing. They were also older, more likely to be single and have no children. The study illustrates the potential of using comparative data to monitor the impact of national actions taken to reduce the inequalities experienced by persons with disability as well as highlighting the arenas into which professional supports need to be focused.
Globally, there is limited research on how deaf and hard of hearing adults experience higher education and work. The purpose of the present study is to examine hard of hearing (HH) adults’ experiences of social interactions and social relationships in higher education, the workplace and leisure time. Data were obtained from semistructured interviews with 16 individuals (aged 24–31 years) from diverse cultural backgrounds (10 males and 6 females) with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Participants were selected based on previous expressed interest in participating in further studies after having been involved in an earlier study. The interviews were subjected to a qualitative thematic data analysis. According to the results, people with a hearing loss experience communication barrier in higher education, at work and in leisure time. These communication barriers lead to difficulties achieving social inclusion, and in some circumstances to social exclusion. Assistive technology (AT) and information and communication technologies (ICT) were important facilitators of moving from social exclusion towards social inclusion.
Purpose: To determine the prevalence and severity of manual wheelchair rear wheel misalignment in community-dwelling manual wheelchair users and estimate the associated increases in rolling resistance (RR) and risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).
Materials and Methods: Data were collected in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, a university research laboratory, and at adaptive sporting events in the United States. Two hundred active, self-propelling man- ual wheelchair users were recruited. Angular misalignment (referred to as toe angle) while the wheelchair was loaded with the user, and the difference between the maximum and minimum toe angle (referred to as slop) with the wheelchair unloaded.
Results: Average results for toe angle and slop (movement in the rear wheels) were 0.92 and 0.61 degrees, respectively. Using a lab-based testing method, we quantified the impact of increased RR forces due to misalignment in increased RR forces. Our results indicate that the average toe angle while under load and slop, without loading, measured in the community increase required propulsion force by 3.0 N. Combined toe angle and slop (i.e., the worst-case scenario) added increased propulsion force by 3.9 N. Conclusions: We found that rear-wheel misalignment was prevalent and severe enough that it may increase the risk for RSIs and decrease participation. To mitigate this issue, future work should focus on reducing misalignment through improved maintenance interventions and increased manufacturing qual- ity through more stringent standards.
Purpose: This research paper examines how contouring of a wheelchair seating base can help prevent pressure sores by distributing pressure over the buttocks. Contouring wheelchair cushioning is already done to some extent and has proved to be beneficial for pressure distribution. We researched the effect of contouring the seating base, and whether contouring the seating base affects effectiveness in pressure distribution and perceived discomfort.
Materials & methods: 13 healthy participants performed a within-subject experiment with three differ- ently contoured seating bases. Perceived comfort and seating pressure were measured for each condition.
Results: Results indicate that a more contoured base is positive for both comfort and increased pressure distribution.
Conclusions: Contoured seating bases can provide increased comfort and improved pressure distribution over flat seating bases. Future research should examine the effect of contouring on stability, as well as compare the effects of contoured seating bases and contoured cushions.
Purpose: Only 1 in 10 people with disabilities can access assistive devices, underlining the critical need for low-cost assistive products. This paper describes the design evolution of a manual user-operated standing wheelchair (SWC), translating from prototype to product.
Methods: The SWC design has been refined over 5 years through multiple iterations based on comments from user trials. The SWC product, Arise, provides standing functionality, facile outdoor mobility, afford- ability, customisability, and is aesthetically pleasing. A one-time fitting and training ensure optimal effort for operation, correct posture, and comfortable user experience. The SWC accommodates users of differ- ent sizes and body weights (up to 110kg) and minimises user effort with the use of a gas spring. Incorporating discrete adjustments enables customisation while retaining the advantages of mass manu- facturing, which is necessary for ensuring affordability.
Results: The SWC has been field-tested and well received by over 100 wheelchair users, and Arise was launched recently by the industry partner.
Conclusions: It should be noted that RESNA cautions on the use of any standing device without medical consultation. Nevertheless, with appropriate dissemination and awareness, it is anticipated that the afford- able SWC product, Arise, will immensely benefit the eligible users and make a difference in their quality of life.
This article invites readers to engage with girls and women with disabilities in the global South. It challenges the epistemological domination of Western disability studies in Southern bodies and contexts, and provides one specific way to read the intersection between disability, gender, and ethnicity in the context of Vietnam. Drawing on the politics of engagement developed within the Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism project, we argue for recognizing the lingering impacts of colonialism and imperialism in producing disability and impairment in the South, while suggesting new ways of engaging with disabled girls and women through the use of inclusive, decolonial, and participatory methods.
The large-scale mainstreaming of disabled children in education in China was initiated with the launching of a national policy called ‘Learning in Regular Classrooms’ in the late 1980s. More than thirty years on, and little is known about disabled children’s daily experiences in regular schools due to a lack of research that foregrounds their voices. This paper reports the main findings from an ethnographic study conducted in 4 state- funded primary schools in Shanghai involving 11 children labelled as having ‘intellectual disabilities’, 10 class teachers and 3 resource teachers. Data were collected through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and child-friendly participatory activities, and thematically analysed to identify patterns in practices and beliefs that underpin the processes of inclusion and exclusion. The research found that the child participants were facing marginalisation in many aspects of school life with rather limited participation in decision-making. The exclusionary processes were reinforced by a prevailing special educational thinking and practice, a charitable approach to the disadvantaged in a Confucian society, and an extremely competitive and performative schooling culture. The findings address the need to hear disabled children’s voices to initiate a paradigm shift in understanding and practice to counterbalance deep-rooted barriers. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.
Purpose: For persons on disability benefits who are facing multiple problems, active labour market poli- cies seem less successful. Besides health problems, these people perceive personal, social, and environ- mental problems. Since very little is known about these “non-medical” problems our aim was to explore the prevalence of clients experiencing multiple problems, the types and number of perceived problems, combinations of perceived problems, and associated characteristics in a group of work disability benefit recipients.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study, using self-reported data on perceived problems and socio-demographics, and register data from the Dutch Social Security Institute on diagnosed diseases and employment status. A convenient group of labour experts recruited eligible clients on work disability benefit.
Results: Of the 207 persons on work disability benefit, 87% perceived having multiple problems. Most reported problems were related to physical (76%) or mental (76%) health. Health problems most fre- quently occurred together with a mismatch in education, financial problems, or care for family members. Clients with lower education experienced significantly more problems than clients with an intermediate or high educational level.
Conclusions: Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life, and need tailored multi-actor work disability management.
Purpose: To explore participation in real-life activities during early childhood, compare children’s partici- pation based on motor function and investigate relationships between participation and parental empowerment.
Methods: Data derived from the Cerebral Palsy Follow-up Program (CPOP) in Norway and the research registry Habilitation Trajectories, Interventions, and Services for Young Children with CP (CPHAB). Fifty-six children (12–56 months, GMFCS levels I–IV, MACS levels I–V) and their families were included. Frequency and enjoyment of participation were assessed by the Child Engagement in Daily Life Questionnaire and parental empowerment in family and service situations by the Family Empowerment Scale at least twice during the preschool years. Differences between groups based on motor function were explored by the Kruskal–Wallis tests. A linear mixed model was conducted to explore relationships between child partici- pation and parental empowerment.
Results: Similarities and differences in participation between children at different motor function levels varied between the activities explored. Fluctuations in frequency and stable enjoyment scores over time were most common. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between child participation and parental empowerment in family situations, but not in service situations.
Conclusions: Child participation appears as context-dependent and complexly influenced by both motor function and parental empowerment. This supports a focus on transactional processes when exploring and promoting child participation.