Original Research

Self-identified intervention priorities amongst women with road accident-acquired physical disabilities in South Africa

Laura Hartmann, Alison Hamilton, Amelia van der Merwe, Stefani du Toit, Wendy Xakayi, Xanthe Hunt
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a867 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.867 | © 2022 Laura Hartmann, Alison Hamilton, Amelia van der Merwe, Stefani du Toit, Wendy Xakayi, Xanthe Hunt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 March 2021 | Published: 25 February 2022

About the author(s)

Laura Hartmann, Institute for Life Course Health Research, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa
Alison Hamilton, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; VA Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation Implementation and Policy, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Amelia van der Merwe, Institute for Life Course Health Research, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa
Stefani du Toit, Institute for Life Course Health Research, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa
Wendy Xakayi, Institute for Life Course Health Research, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa
Xanthe Hunt, Institute for Life Course Health Research, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Acquiring a physical disability in adulthood necessitates a range of adjustments, with past research suggesting that some challenges encountered are unique to women. Moreover, several factors may complicate adjustment to an altered embodiment and difficulties in functioning after an accident, including insufficient rehabilitation and support services and problematic societal attitudes towards disability. In addition, women with disabilities are often excluded from health and social policy and programme development, an oversight that can result in support gaps.

Objectives: This article presents the self-identified priority interventions of women with road accident-acquired physical disabilities in South Africa.

Methods: We conducted interviews with 18 women with road accident-acquired physical disabilities. The participants were recruited via snowball sampling. Interviews were conducted by experienced interviewers, who were home language speakers of the participants’ preferred language of communication. The interview recordings were transcribed, translated, and coded by trained, independent researchers.

Results: Study participants identified three key areas of intervention requiring consideration in supportive intervention planning: the acute post-injury environment and healthcare infrastructure, transitional services and social inclusion interventions. These were identified as overlooked areas in which they required support to successfully adapt to limitations in functioning.

Conclusion: To develop inclusive, accessible, and practical policy and programming for people with disabilities, exercises like those outlined in this research – eliciting intervention ideas from lived experience – should be conducted as they highlight actionable priorities for programming.


Keywords

acquired disability; intervention; lived experience; rehabilitation; sexual and reproductive health; women’s health

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