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Impact of lived experiences of people with disabilities in the built environment in South Africa

McKINNEY, Victor
AMOSUN, Seyi L.
August 2020

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Background: In spite of legislations and policies to ensure an inclusive society in South Africa for the accommodation of people with disabilities, there are reports that they still struggle to move freely within society.

 

Objectives: As part of a larger qualitative exploratory study on the preparation of undergraduate civil engineering students in a local university to contribute to the development of an inclusive society, this article seeks to understand the impact of the lived experiences of people with disabilities in their interaction with the built environment.

 

Method: Four persons with disabilities, considered to be knowledgeable about South African legislations relating to disability, were purposely selected to each share one specific experience whilst interacting with the built environment. The transcribed texts of the interviews were analysed by using the phenomenological–hermeneutic method.

 

Results: The participants exhibited strong desires to participate in society. However, the sense of loss of control and independence as they encountered challenges in the built environment changed the euphoria to disempowerment, rejection, anger and despondency. In spite of their experiences, participants expressed a commitment towards overcoming the challenges encountered in the broader interest of people with disabilities.

 

Conclusion: A deeper understanding of the impact of the experiences of people with disabilities when they participate within the built environment in South Africa revealed a broad spectrum of negative emotions, which may impact the quality of life and well-being of the participants.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Functional outcome of stroke inpatients according to human immunodeficiency virus status: A feasibility study

HARTLEY, Tasneem
BURGER, Marlette
ESTERHUIZEN, Tonya M
INGLIS-JASSIEM, Gakeemah
March 2020

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Background: Stroke in human immunodeficiency virus positive (HIV+) individuals is becoming an increasing concern. Being significantly younger than typical stroke patients, the impact of functional challenges on quality of life and burden on society becomes more eminent.

 

Objectives: This feasibility study aims to determine the requirements for a large descriptive cohort, to adequately describe the functional outcome of stroke patients with varying HIV status.

 

Method: All stroke patients meeting the inclusion criteria were recruited over a 6-month period at a South African inpatient rehabilitation centre. Data were collected on admission and discharge using outcome measures including the Barthel Index (BI), Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the use of assistive devices used to describe independence with activities of daily living (ADL), mobility and safety post-stroke. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata version 14.2.

 

Results: The feasibility study identified appropriate procedures and barriers to a successful study in addition to describing preliminary data on participant demographics, relevant medical history and functional outcomes post-stroke. Limitations that affected feasibility included minimal recruitment sites, length of data collection period, timely communication of participant discharge plans and dates, and confirmation of participant HIV status. An appropriate comparison between sub-groups could not be made because of disproportionate group sizes, median age differences and no assessor blinding.

 

Conclusion: To increase generalisability and the understanding of the unique HIV+ stroke profile, multiple recruitment sites, longer data collection periods, assessor blinding and age-matched groups with HIV status confirmation are recommended.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Associations between health behaviour, secondary health conditions and quality of life in people with spinal cord injury

MASHOLA, Mokgadi K.
MOTHABENG, Diphale J.
2019

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Background: The development of secondary health conditions (SHCs) after spinal cord injury (SCI) is common and can affect an individual’s emotional well-being, and his or her health-related quality of life (QOL). Little is known about relationships between performing health-benefiting behaviours and the presence (or absence) of SHCs and QOL, particularly in South Africa.

 

Objectives: This research study was conducted in order to determine the associations between health behaviour, SHCs and QOL in people with SCI (PWSCI).

 

Method: This cross-sectional study included 36 PWSCI discharged from a private rehabilitation facility in Pretoria, South Africa. The PWSCI completed questionnaires pertaining to lifestyle, independence, presence of SHCs, social support and QOL. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as correlation tests and chi-square test of independence (x2) using the SPSS v25. Moderate, moderately high and high correlations are reported (Pearson r ≥ 0.4). Results were significant if p < 0.05.

 

Results: Participation in health-benefiting behaviour was associated with increased QOL (r = 0.457, p < 0.01) and increased social support from family and friends (r = 0.425, p < 0.01), which was associated with increased QOL (r = 0.671, p < 0.001). Not participating in specific neuromusculoskeletal health behaviours was found to be associated with the overall presence of SHCs (r = -0.426, p < 0.01).

 

Conclusions: Participating in health-benefiting behaviour can reduce the development of SHCs and subsequently increase QOL in PWSCI. Health professionals must focus on minimising the development of SHCs by providing specific education on good health-benefiting behaviour.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Improvements in health-related quality of life and function in middle-aged women with chronic diseases of lifestyle after participating in a non-pharmacological intervention programme: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial

BARNES, Roline Y
JELSMA, Jennifer
PARKER, Romy
2019

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Background: Musculoskeletal diseases consume a large amount of health and social resources and are a major cause of disability in both low- and high-income countries. In addition, patients frequently present with co-morbid chronic diseases of lifestyle. The area of musculoskeletal disease is restricted by a lack of epidemiological knowledge, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

 

Objectives: This pragmatic randomised controlled trial assessed the benefits of a 6-week physiotherapy intervention for middle-aged women with musculoskeletal conditions compared to usual care.

 

Method: A weekly 2-h educational programme utilising a workbook, discussion group and exercise class was presented for the intervention group, while the control group received usual care. The primary outcome was health-related quality of life. Parametric and non-parametric data were used to determine the equivalence between the groups.

 

Results: Twenty-two participants were randomised to the intervention and 20 to the control group. The control group demonstrated no within-group improvement in health-related quality of life items, compared to significant improvements in two items in the intervention group. The change in median utility score within the intervention group was twice as large as the change in the control group. With regard to self-efficacy, the intervention group demonstrated significant within-group changes in perceived management of fatigue and discomfort.

 

Conclusion: The positive impact of the intervention on the participants suggests that the programme should continue at the clinic in question, but should be presented at a more convenient time for participants who work, as recruitment to the study was less than anticipated. Primary health care systems in South Africa urgently need to put structures in place for effective management of the functional impact of chronic diseases of lifestyle and musculoskeletal conditions. It is time for physiotherapists and possibly other health care professionals to participate in the development of appropriate community level interventions to address the functioning and quality of life of individuals living with the diseases.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

A home-based rehabilitation intervention for people living with HIV and disability in a resource-poor community, KwaZulu-Natal : study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

COBBING, Saul
HANASS-HANCOCK, Jill
MYEZWA, Hellen
2015

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In this paper, the researchers develop a needs-based home-based rehabilitation programme for people living with HIV in order to improve their quality of life and functional ability. The study aims to  provide rehabilitation professionals and researchers with evidence that can be utilised to improve existing rehabilitation interventions for people living with HIV.

The paper outlines a randomised control trial to test the programme, to be conducted at a public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The trial will assess the participants’ quality of life, perceived level of disability, functional ability and endurance

Trials 16:491

Health-related quality of life of patients six months poststroke living in the Western Cape, South Africa

RHODA, Anthea, J
2014

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Background: The majority of individuals report a decline in health-related quality of life following a stroke. Quality of life and factors predicting quality of life could differ in individuals from lower income countries. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the quality of life and factors influencing quality of life of community-dwelling stroke patients living in low-income, peri-urban areas in the Western Cape, South Africa.

 

Method: An observational, longitudinal study was used to collect data from a conveniently selected sample of first-ever stroke patients. The Rivermead Motor Assessment Scale and the Barthel Index were used to determine functional outcome and the EQ-5D was used to collect information relating to quality of life at two months and six months poststroke. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data.

 

Results: The total sample of 100 participants consisted of 50% men and 50% women with a mean age of 61 and a standard deviation of 10.55 years. Six-month quality of life datawas analysed for 73 of the 100 participants. Of the 27 who were lost to follow-up, nine participants died, four withdrew from the study after baseline data was collected and eleven could not be followed up as they had either moved or no follow-up telephone numbers were available. A further three participants were excluded from the analysis of the EQ-5D as they were aphasic. Of these, approximately 35% had problems with mobility and self-care, whilst 42% had severe problems with everyday activities and 37.8% expressed having anxiety and depression. Quality of life at two months (p = 0.010) and urinary incontinence (p = 0.002) were significant predictors of quality of life at six months.

 

Conclusion: Health-related quality of life was decreased in the South African stroke sample. Functional ability and urinary incontinence were the factors affecting quality of life in the sample. These factors should be considered in the rehabilitation of stroke patients in these settings.

Policy implementation in wheelchair service delivery in a rural South African setting

VISAGIE, Surona
SCHEFFLER, Elsje
SCHNEIDER, Marguerite
2013

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Background: Wheelchairs allow users to realise basic human rights and improved quality of life. South African and international documents guide rehabilitation service delivery and thus the provision of wheelchairs. Evidence indicates that rehabilitation policy implementation gaps exist in rural South Africa.

 

Objectives: The aim of this article was to explore the extent to which wheelchair service delivery in a rural, remote area of South Africa was aligned with the South African National Guidelines on Provision of Assistive Devices, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and The World Health Organization Guidelines on Provision of Wheelchairs in Less-Resourced Settings.

 

Method: Qualitative methods were used. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 22 participants who were identified through purposive sampling. Content analysis of data was preformed around the construct of wheelchair service delivery.

 

Results: Study findings identified gaps between the guiding documents and wheelchair service delivery. Areas where gaps were identified included service aspects such as referral, assessment, prescription, user and provider training, follow up, maintenance and repair as well as management aspects such as staff support, budget and monitoring. Positive findings related to individual assessments, enthusiastic and caring staff and the provision of wheelchairs at no cost.

 

Conclusion: The gaps in policy implementation can have a negative impact on users and the service provider. Inappropriate or no wheelchairs limit user function, participation and quality of life. In addition, an inappropriate wheelchair will have a shorter lifespan, requiring frequent repairs and replacements with cost implications for the service provider.

Successful projects : what makes them work? a cross-national analysis of the studies of projects that have improved the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities in India, Romania, Kenya and South Africa

GUSTAVSSON, Anders
et al
January 2007

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“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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