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A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery: Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World

Inclusion International
June 2021

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This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.

 

This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.

 

Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Assessment of functioning and disability in patients with low back pain – the low back pain assessment tool. Part 1: development

IBSEN, Charlotte
SCHIØTTZ-CHRISTENSEN, Berit
NIELSEN, Claus Vinther
HØRDER, Mogens
SCHMIDT, Anne Mette
MARIBO, Thomas
2021

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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.

A comparison of routine and case-managed pathways for recovery from musculoskeletal disorders in people in employment

BERGMAN, Beverly P
DEMOU, Evangelia
LEWSEY, James
MACDONALD, Ewan
2021

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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.

Perspectives on assistive technology among older Norwegian adults receiving community health services

HALVORSRUD, Liv
HOLTHE, Torhild
KARTERUD, Dag
THORSTENSEN, Erik
LUND, Anne
2021

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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.

Exploring participation in family and recreational activities among children with cerebral palsy during early childhood: how does it relate to motor function and parental empowerment?

KALLESON, Runa
JAHNSEN, Reidun
ØSTENSJØ, Sigrid
2021

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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.

Experiences of Reciprocal Caring Among AdultsWith an Intellectual Disability Caring for an OlderFamily Member

TRUESDALE, Maria
TAGGART, Laurence
RYAN, Assumpta
McCONKEY, Roy
2021

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Background: Internationally, many children and adults with intellectual disabilities are continually being supported by their family members to live within their family home. However, as a consequence of the ageing process some family members can struggle to continue to care because of their failing physical and/or mental ill-health. This has resulted in a shift in the parameters of the rela-tionship for some adults with intellectual disabilities with their formerly dependent role evolving into a caregiving one. This had become known as “reciprocity” or “mutual support.” Limited information exists about these “hidden carers” and what services are available to support them.

 

Aim: This article explored the lived experiences of nine adults with intellectual disabilities who provided emotional and tangible support to an ageing family member.


Method: A qualitative methodology was employed using semi-structured interviews. Nine participants with mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities were interviewed within one region of the United Kingdom. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.

 

Findings: Five themes emerged within these narrative accounts: natural transition to caring; the health needs of the ageing familymember; support; impact of caregiving and future planning.

 

Discussion: The needs of these unknown hidden carers, and also ageing family members, are immediate and urgent. Policy makers, commissioners and service providers need to examine the type of “in-house” support provided to these new carers if they are to continue living within their family home with their ageing family member, who will also need additional support. Neglecting both cohorts will lead to greater costs to services in the longer term and seriously threaten the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and their family carers.

‘It’s been taken away’: an experience of a disappearing dyslexia diagnosis

CAMERON, Harriet
2021

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This research explores the experiences of Beth, a university student in the UK, as she comes to be labelled as ‘dyslexic’, and as she has her diagnosis taken away. Through use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and discourse analysis, the research seeks to understand how Beth made sense of these experiences, and to explore the discursive ‘life’ of dyslexia within this sense-making. The discussion in this paper proceeds chronologically through Beth’s story, from ‘struggle’, to ‘legitimation’ to ‘derogation’, and concludes with a call to recognise the role of diagnosis in the field of special educational needs (SEN) from a social constructionist and relational perspective.

Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the legal consciousness of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

MIZAN, Arpeeta Shams
2021

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Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities

Barriers to Utilisation of Dental Services among Children with Disabilities in a Coordinated Healthcare Programme in Mangalore, South India: A Mixed Methods Study

SURESH, L R
RAI, K
HEGDE, A M
DSOUZA, C V
2021

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Purpose: Unmet oral health needs affect the quality of life of individuals, especially if they are already at a disadvantage like children with special health care needs. Strategies to mitigate these disparities in India’s diverse healthcare settings have hitherto been largely ineffective. This study was aimed to assess the utilisation and barriers to the use of dental health services among children with special health care needs, against the background of a coordinated healthcare programme implemented in Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, India.

 

Method: The study was conducted over a 6-month period, from September 2018 to February 2019. A mixed-methods design was concurrently employed for data collection. Utilisation of dental services was assessed quantitatively, and the barriers to dental services utilisation were assessed qualitatively through caregiver interviews, with a sequential data integration strategy.

 

Results: The quantitative data revealed gross underutilisation of dental resources by children (only 16% availed some form of dental treatment), and the prevalence of avoidance behaviour (63% showed reluctance and did not turn up for appointments). Restorative needs formed the highest unmet dental component among the children (67% required secondary dental care). In-depth interviews with the children’s caregivers revealed that the presence of cognitive barriers could have a direct effect on the time and quality of dental care delivered to their children.

 

Conclusion: Cognitive barriers among caregivers appear to have a profound impact on the underutilisation of dental services in their children with special healthcare needs. These barriers may be addressed within the integrated healthcare programme and the dental curricula through provisions for continued individual and community dental education, and motivational efforts that simultaneously target the caregivers and their children with special healthcare needs.

The impact of COVID-19 measures on children with disabilities and their families in Uganda

MBAZZI, Femke Bannink
NALUGYA, Ruth
KAWESA, Elizabeth
NIMUSIIMA, Claire
KING, Rachel
VAN HOVE, Geert
SEELEY, Janet
2021

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To understand the impact of the COVID-19 public health response on families of children with disabilities in Central Uganda we conducted phone interviews with parents and children during the first 5 months of the outbreak (March - July 2020). Most parents and children were well informed about COVID-19 and were keen to adhere to government prevention measures. The majority said lock-down measures had a negative effect on their mental and physical health, social life, finances, education and food security. Access to medical services and medication for chronic illness had been limited or absent due to restrictions in travel, some facilities restricting access, and limited financial resources. The majority of parents reported loss of work which resulted in difficulties in finding enough food and paying rent. Parents worried about children missing education and friends. We suggest greater attention to children with disabilities and their families when implementing mitigating and long-term responses.

Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care for Older People With ID: Defining and Understanding Intervention Components of a Person-Centered Approach

THALEN, Marloes
VAN OORSOUW, Wietske M W J
VOLKERS, Karin M
TAMINIAU, Elsbeth F
EMBREGTS, Petri J C M
2021

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An increase in descriptive evidence regarding person-centered approaches for older people with intellectual disability (ID) is important, due to increased life expectancy and the present lack of sufficiently underpinned interventions. This is especially true of interventions designed to increase well-being and quality of life. A specific Dutch example is the Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care approach. Despite its status as a good practice, its effectiveness has not yet been proved, nor has descriptive evidence been made available. The primary aims of this qualitative study are to identify the intervention components, to provide demonstrative illustrations and to gain an in-depth understanding of the use of these components in the day-to-day support of older people with ID. A content analysis of five key documents was carried out. Five semi-structured interviews were then conducted with early adopters, followed by a concept mapping study with daily users. The final stage in the data collection process was a series of five focus-group interviews with experts and experienced support staff. The five intervention components of Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care for older people with ID have been systematically identified and described in detail in five narrative summaries drawn up in collaboration with early adopters, experts and experienced support staff. This study provides valuable insights that offer descriptive evidence for Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care in the care for older people with ID. Both implications and possible opportunities for future research are discussed.

Preliminary experiences in acute occupational therapy for in-patients with coronavirus-19 (COVID-19): leveraging assistive technology in three case studies of male veterans

RICH, Tonya
HICKS, Brandon
DAHL, Abigail
SULLIVAN, Elle
BARRETT, Benjamin
BEDORE, Beau
2020

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Purpose:

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 with millions of cases reported globally in the succeeding months. Initial hospitalisation strives to minimise multisystem organ failure and of those that survive, individuals can present with profound rehabilitation needs. The purpose of this case series is to describe occupational therapy (OT) and special technology considerations for three male Veteran patients hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 

 

Methods: 

This is a descriptive case series using a retrospective electronic health record review at a Veterans Administration hospital. The case series includes three male Veterans with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (ages 69–78) who were referred to OT. The cases were selected to demonstrate the novel use of technology and strategies to reduce the risk of transmission. In two of three of our cases, we describe acute rehabilitation with a focus on activity tolerance, participation in occupations, and discharge planning. In all cases, we measured vital signs and activity tolerance as primary outcomes. 

 

Results and conclusions: 

The findings suggest that outcome measures focussing on activity tolerance to maintain stable vital signs during the recovery phase is central to the progression of activities. We observed in our cases that the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance (PEOP) model can guide practice and complement the medical model in management of these patients. We utilised technology to engage family members in the rehabilitation care and minimise exposure risks.

Independent Living Survey

EUROPEAN NETWORK ON INDEPENDENT LIVING (ENIL)
December 2020

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The summary report of the first results of ENIL’s Independent Living Survey. The aim of the online survey was to collect general information about access to Independent Living of disabled people across Europe, and detailed information about Personal Assistance schemes or systems.

Effects of Biofeedback and Task-Oriented Intervention on Balance Confidence and its Relationship with Social Participation among Stroke Survivors

Pachiappan, Elumalai
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to compare the effects of balance training on balance confidence and its relationship with social participation among clients with stroke.

 

Method: A pre- and post- experimental group design was used. Stroke survivors who met the inclusion criteria were consecutively assigned to two groups (task- oriented and biofeedback). Participants in the task-oriented group received task- oriented activities for 20 minutes and the biofeedback group received intervention in correckta (equipment used for balance training) for 20 minutes, along with conventional occupational therapy - 5 sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Balance Confidence Scale was used for measuring balance confidence, and Frenchay Activities Index (FAI) was used to measure social participation. Statistical calculations were performed with SPSS version 16.0 package. Statistical tests were carried out with the level of significance set at p≤ 0.05.

 

Results: The findings suggest that both the biofeedback and task-oriented groups showed significant improvement in balance confidence and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups. There was a moderate to good relationship between balance confidence and social participation.

 

Conclusions and Implications: There is evidence that many stroke survivors have low balance confidence. Therapists should assess the balance confidence of their clients and encourage them to participate in these beneficial interventions.

Addressing disability-related costs through social protection systems

COTE, Alexandre
CARRARO, Ludovico
SIJAPATI BASSNET, Bimbika
NASIIR, Mercoledi
SRISOM, Sawang
WAKANIYASI, Josh
O'BRIEN, Felicity
October 2020

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Understanding disability-related costs is critical to building social protection systems that truly support inclusion, participation, and sustainable escape from poverty of persons with disabilities across the life cycle. It challenges some usual approaches with regards to targeting, mutually exclusive benefits, and focus on incapacity to work rather than support to inclusion. 

Supporting the dissemination of a background paper, the webinar presented the diversity of disability-related costs and the role of different methods used to assess them. It also presented some practices of accounting for disability costs in the design of mainstream social protection schemes as well as how low and middle-income countries can progressively build the combination of cash transfers, concessions, and services needed to address them.

 

Speakers topics were:

Understanding disability-related costs for better social protection systems.

Accounting for disablity related costs in design of mainstream family assistance schemes, the case of Moldova and Mongolia.

Supporting a survey to estimate the good and services required for basic participation in Indonesia.

How social protection systems can progressively address disability-related costs: the case of Thailand. 

Not either or Disability allowance and economic empowerment in Fiji.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection for COVID-19 recovery and beyond

COTE, Alex
BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
WANGARE, Fatma
HUDA. Karishma
DOS SANTOS, Joaozito
O'BRIEN, Felicity
September 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the barriers and inequalities faced by persons with disabilities. Consultation with organisations representing persons with disabilities across regions highlighted the limitation of social protection systems in LMICs to provide adequate support due to lack of social protection schemes, low coverage, and inadequacy of existing schemes. There is little in the way of publicly funded community support services and in some contexts an overreliance on residential institutions, whose users have been disproportionally represented among COVID-19 fatalities. 

In the midst of the crisis, countries have been struggling with inaccessible information (e.g sign language), the lack of universal schemes, and national disability registry for broad outreach and fast relief.

The webinar aimed at providing a global overview of the social protection response for persons with disabilities and their families as well as the different key social protection issues to consider for an inclusive COVID-19 recover

Does the purpose matter? A comparison of everyday information and communication technologies between eHealth use and general use as perceived by older adults with cognitive impairment

JAKOBSSON, Elin
NYGÅRD, Louise
KOTTORP, Anders
OLSSON, Cecilia Bråkenhielm
MALINOWSKY, Camilla
2020

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Background and objective

Everyday information and communication technologies (EICTs) are increasingly being used in our society, for both general and health-related purposes. This study aims to compare how older adults with cognitive impairment perceive relevance and level of EICT challenge between eHealth use and general use.

 

Methods

This cross-sectional study includes 32 participants (65–85 years of age) with cognitive impairment of different origins (due to e.g., stroke or dementia). The Short Everyday Technology Use Questionnaire+ (S-ETUQ+) was used, providing information about the relevance of EICTs and measuring the EICT level of challenge. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, standardized z-tests and Fisher’s exact tests. The significance level was set to p < .05.

 

Results

The result shows that the perceived amount of relevant EICTs for eHealth use was lower in all 16 EICTs compared to those of general use. About the perceived level of challenge, a significant difference was detected in one of the seven included EICTs between eHealth use and general use.

 

Conclusions

In this sample, all EICTs were perceived as having lower relevance for eHealth use compared to general use, suggesting that the purpose of using an EICT affects the perceived relevance of it. Also, once an EICT is perceived as relevant and used for eHealth purposes, there seem to be little to no differences in perceived challenge compared to the same EICT used for general purposes.

The impact of special education resources and the general and the special education teacher’s competence on pupil mathematical achievement gain in inclusive classrooms

OPITZ, Elisabeth Moser
SCHNEPEL, Susanne
KRÄHENMANN, Helena
JANDL, Sarah
FELDER, Franziska
DESSEMONTET, Rachel Sermier
2020

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Research in inclusive settings is complicated by the nested relationships between the general education teacher (GET), the special education teacher (SET) and pupils. In this study, the impact of SET resource and selected variables of teacher competence (professional mathematical knowledge SET, attitude towards inclusion GET, classroom management GET) on the mathematical achievement gain of typically developing pupils (TYP) and pupils with intellectual disability (ID) was examined. Mathematical achievement was tested at the beginning of the school year (t1) and the end (t2) in 34 inclusive classrooms (sample ID: n = 42; sample TYP n = 525). IQ and gender – and the average mathematical achievement at class level in the sample TYP – were included as control variables. For pupils with ID, hierarchical regression modelling revealed that the mathematical knowledge at t1 explained most of the variance in mathematical achievement gain. For the group TYP, the results of a multi-level analysis showed that mathematical knowledge at t1, IQ and the average mathematical achievement at class level all had a positive effect on mathematical achievement gain. The more hours a SET was present in the classroom, the more the mathematical achievement of the group TYP increased. The other teacher competence variables had no apparent impact.

Development of self-help groups for caregivers of children with disabilities in Kilifi, Kenya: Process evaluation

GONA, Joseph K.
NEWTON, Charles
HARTLEY, Sally
BUNNING, Karen
July 2020

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Background: Caring for a child with disabilities in a resource-poor setting brings many challenges to the caregiver. We examined the development of self-help groups for caregivers in a rural part of Kenya.

 

Objectives: To conduct a process evaluation on the development of self-help groups during a 10-month set-up period, focusing on implementation and mechanisms associated with their functional status.

 

Methods: Using a realist evaluation design, we set up 20 self-help groups for 254 caregivers. An evaluation was conducted to investigate implementation and mechanisms of impact. Implementation focused on caregiver registration, community group support and monitoring visit compliance. Data were collected from group registers, records of meetings and field notes. Mechanisms of impact employed a framework of strengths–weaknesses–opportunities–threats to review the groups at the end of the 10-month set-up period.

 

Results: Recruitment resulted in registration of 254 participants to 18 groups – two groups disbanded early. Post-evaluation included 11 active and 7 inactive groups. Compliance with the monitoring visits was consistent across the active groups. All groups engaged in ‘merry-go-round’ activities. The active groups were characterised by strong leadership and at least one successful income generation project; the inactive had inconsistent leadership and had dishonest behaviour both within the group and/or externally in the community. Mediators associated with functional status included the following: available literacy and numeracy skills, regular meetings with consistent attendance by the members, viable income generating projects, geographical proximity of membership and strong leadership for managing threats.

 

Conclusion: Self-help groups have the potential to progress in resource-poor settings. However, critical to group progression are literacy and numeracy skills amongst the members, their geographical proximity, regular meetings of the group, viable income generating projects and strong leadership.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Dimensions of invisibility: insights into the daily realities of persons with disabilities living in rural communities in India

GUPTA, Shivani
DE WITTE, Luc P
MEERSHOEK, Agnes
2020

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Persons with disabilities in rural India do not have the opportunity to lead a self-determined life and be included in their community as required by the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. To investigate their experience of living everyday life and the amount of agency they are able to exercise, in-depth interviews were undertaken. The Capability Approach (CA) was used to ana- lyse the situation that was seen in terms of outcome of the interplay between internal and external factors resulting in loss of agency. The results show that the dependency they experience due to lack of adequate support to undertake activities and being completely dependent on the family places them in a vicious circle of ‘self-worthlessness’. Reducing the dependency disabled people face and chang- ing perceptions of the community towards disability may break this circle.

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