The circumstantial understanding of the ‘normal’, ushered in by the spread of COVID 19, has been the practice of ‘social distancing’. Exercising this ‘new normal’ has been a challenge in general for society. However, it is particularly important to recognize the psycho-social impact and analyse it through the lens of ageing in relation to experiences of disability. This paper therefore attempts to explore the experiences of uncertainties in the light of ageing with disabilities, pronounced during a time of crisis, leading to social distress. With the help of telephonic conversations, the paper discusses some of the stories of people living in Guwahati, in the age-group of 70 to 90, drawing on an intersectional understanding of personhood, social suffering, and symbolic disability. It is also an attempt to look into the aspect of wellbeing (physical, psychological and emotional) of the elderly amidst disabilities, while stepping into unfamiliar social boundaries of ambiguity, that further disable the elderly in terms of the sudden fading of the regular support structures and systematic foundations of the ‘social’ once known to them.
The ongoing pandemic situation has disrupted lives globally. These disruptions are embodied in gender, social location, ethnicity and in the body. Public health facilities, accessibility of urban infrastructure, support services for persons with disability, educational accessibility in cities prior to the pandemic have influenced the manner in which disabled people are able to adapt to the current situation. This paper presents the experiences of young people living with visual impairments who reside in an urban low-income community in India. It explores the unique challenges such as the further reduction in accessibility to health and educational facilities that they are facing and the manner in which their carefully structured everyday lives have changed. The narratives also describe the manner in which they are coping with the public health disaster in addition to preparing for the new ‘norms’ that people living with visual impairments are required to navigate as an outcome of the pandemic. The paper gives voice to their needs and requirements in this situation, and in turn, aims to inform policy responses through first person accounts.
Purpose: While ageing is an inevitable phenomenon of life, physical activity is important for healthy ageing. Compared to the other age groups, older adults throughout the world have the lowest rate of participation in recommended levels of physical activity. This study aimed to investigate the physical activity status of the community-dwelling elderly population in Gujarat, India.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study. A door-to-door survey was conducted among selected communities near Vadodara in Gujarat. Based on the inclusion criteria (age≥60years, MMSE-≥24), 347 elderly persons were included in the study. Data was collected using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ), and analysed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Among the 347 older adults (mean age 67.43±7.46 years) who participated in the study, 159 were male and 188 were female. While 125 participants (36%) were physically active at levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, 222(64%) were physically inactive.
Conclusion: Only 36% of the participants were physically active as per WHO recommendations. The men were more physically active than the women in the study sample. This study implies that there is a need to create an awareness regarding the importance of physical activity for healthy aging.
A literature review to evaluate quality of life and participation outcomes of individuals with earthquake-related physical injury. A systematic review was performed searching MEDLINE, Embase, PsychINFO, CINAHL and AMED electronic databases from 1966 to January 2014. Studies that measured quality of life or participation outcomes among individuals who acquired a physical disability as a result of an earthquake injury were included, with no limits on research design. The search yielded 961 potentially relevant articles after removal of duplicates. Of these, only 8 articles met the inclusion criteria. Seven papers were reviewed from the following 5 earthquakes: 2001 Gujarat earthquake, India; 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, China (also known as the Sichuan earthquake); 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Pakistan (27); 2009 Padang earthquake, Indonesia; 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake.
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, vol.47, no.5, 2015, 385-393
Purpose: To report the development of user-defined, multidimensional, psychometrically sound Quality of Life questionnaires – Impact of Hearing Loss on Children – IHL-C 69 and Brief IHL-C for children with hearing loss, in two languages -Tamil and English.
Methods: 421 problem statements from previous qualitative studies were reduced to a 220-item questionnaire with 7 domains (educational implications, social integration, psycho-social well-being, speech, language and communication, family relationships, leisure time activities and general functioning). After field testing, the domain of leisure time activities was dropped, resulting in a 103-item self-administered questionnaire with 6 domains. This 103-item questionnaire was translated from Tamil to English, and self-administered by children with hearing loss (11-18 years of age) in Special schools (n=100) and Integrated schools (n=100), as well as by normal controls in Integrated schools (n=200). Standard methods were used for item reduction and to evaluate psychometric properties.
Results: Psychometric item reduction produced the 69-item IHL-C69 (long version) and 48- item Brief IHL-C (brief version) questionnaires. Psychometric evaluation showed that all the domains of both the questionnaires had good acceptability, high internal consistency (alpha >0.80; intrinsic validity >0.80) and test-retest reliability (0.86).The questionnaires significantly distinguished between the children with hearing loss and the normal controls. The domains of both the questionnaires showed moderate evidence of convergent validity, and discriminant validity derived through hypotheses testing showed mixed results. The translation validity was also determined.
Conclusion: The IHL-C 69 and Brief IHL-C are reliable and valid user-defined, multidimensional questionnaires, available for the first time in both Tamil and English languagesin Tamil Nadu, India. Designed to analyse the impact of hearing loss and to determine the quality of life of children with hearing loss, the questionnaires could be used to prioritise the goals for rehabilitation intervention for these children.
Purpose: To assess the effects of Motor Imagery programme on upper extremity functional task performance and quality of life among stroke survivors.
Method: Thirty people who were diagnosed with stroke, were selected from the Department of Occupational Therapy, SVNIRTAR, Odisha, India, and consecutively assigned to control (n=15) and experimental (n=15) groups. The control group received conventional occupational therapy only, and the experimental group received conventional occupational therapy combined with Motor Imagery programme. Upper Extremity Motor Activity Log (UE-MAL) and Stroke Specific Quality Of Life Questionnaire (SSQOL) were used for assessment, before and after the intervention.
Results: The experimental group showed significant improvement compared to the control group (P<.004 & P<.001). The implication is that there is a good relationship between upper extremity functional task performance and quality of life (r= 0.928).
Conclusions: The Motor Imagery programme is a simple and very cost-effective treatment used in Occupational Therapy practice. It can be easily taught and learnt. The study concludes that Motor Imagery programme is effective in improving upper extremity functional task performance and quality of life among stroke survivors.
Habilitation and rehabilitation call for a paradigm shift from the traditional intervention programmes which focus on physical functioning to programmes that include aspects of physical, psychological and social wellbeing.
Purpose: To develop a quality of life instrument, using focus group discussions to assess the outcomes of interventions for school-going children with hearing loss.
Methods: Separate focus group discussions were held with children with hearing loss between 8 and 18 years of age, special educators and mothers. Focus group discussions were conducted separately for boys and girls. Each focus group had 8–10 participants. In-depth interviews were conducted with the heads of institutions and rehabilitation professionals. Fathers had to complete self-administered questionnaires. The focus group discussions were guided by topics and probes drawn from literature reviews, and were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed.
Results: Around 421 problem statements were classified under 7 themes: Educational implications; Social integration; Psycho-social wellbeing; Family relationships; Speech, language and communication; Leisure and recreation; and General functioning. Education and career aspirations were considered to be most important. The problem statements revealed that the primary focus of training was on improving academics. Integration and feeling comfortable with social situations were cited as limitations; as also, the preference for friendship with people of similar abilities. For the majority of children, leisure and recreation was limited to watching television. Parents and siblings were considered vital to their progress and achievements.
Conclusions: Multidimensional and varied perspectives of different stakeholders, especially family members, are necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the impact of hearing loss on the quality of life of school-going children.
This article presents research into the use of subjective (quality of life) as well as objective criteria to classify visual disability. When both subjective and objective criteria were used, instead of just the commonly accepted objective criteria, visual disability could be objectively reclassified
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 62, Issue 4
Background: Cerebral palsy is a type of non-progressive central nervous system disorder with multiple impairments. As there are sensory, communicatory and intellectual impairments, providing care at home may be stressful and affect to the physical and mental health of the caregivers. This in turn could interfere with rehabilitation of persons with cerebral palsy.
Purpose: This study assesses the mental health status and quality of life of caregivers of persons with disabilities. The study group consisted of caregivers of 23 children with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability.
Method: The needs of the children with disabilities were assessed using a pre- tested interview schedule, while caregivers were administered GHQ-28 and WHO-QOL.
Results: Thirteen (56.52%) of the primary caregivers tested positive for GHQ. The psychological and environmental domains of QOL were found to be most affected, while the physical and social domains were relatively better.
Conclusion: There was a significant (p<0.05) correlation between the GHQ scores and quality of life.
"The main goal of the research was to understand and measure the overall role and impact of CBR in improving the quality of life of persons with different types of impairments, as well as different demographic, social and economic backgrounds. We therefore investigated the effectiveness of CBR programmes in improving the control that persons with disabilities have over their daily lives, their participation in different aspects of community life (i.e. combating stigma and prejudice) and their access to various services over the five domains of the CBR matrix (health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment)"
“Poverty and mental illness compound one another, creating an environment of despair for some of the most vulnerable people in low and middle-income countries. Mental health intervention programmes in resource-poor settings such as rural Northern India must understand and address the economic burden of mental illness, in addition to clinical and functional outcomes. The BasicNeeds [BN]- Nav Bharat Jagruti Kendra [NBJK] intervention programme, located in rural Northern India, aims to improve quality of life for people with mental disorders and their families, through treatment, livelihoods and capacity building interventions based on the Mental Health and Development Model. This prospective evaluation assessed economic outcomes of 138 people with mental disorders involved in the BN-NBJK programme over a period of two years”
This paper examines the experiences of youth with disabilities in India and their transformation to adulthood. Using the 2007 World Development Report, this work explores the opportunities available to young people in terms of learning, work and citizenship. This resource would be useful for anyone with an interest in disability and development
“This cross national analysis is based on national studies made by research teams in India, Kenya, Romania and South Africa. It aims to draw out the lessons learnt from successful social development processes in these countries. In each country, studies have been made of projects identified as interesting, successful and/or outstanding in the way they have improved the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities. This comparative report briefly describes the national studies, from which the respective teams made their own national conclusions and continues with across national analysis attempting to identify circumstances or factors that are common to these successful projects. Finally, the report summarises the conclusions and their implications”
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