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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Health and wellness: What adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities perceive as facilitators and barriers
by Cannistraci, Patricia, D.N.S., Sage Graduate School, 2011, 177; 3594096
Abstract (Summary)

National health initiatives directed towards promoting the health and wellbeing of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs), across their life span, are reflective of the larger evolving process of social inclusive policy and normalization for people with I/DDs. Despite these initiatives, a gap in the literature exists when examining health promotion from the perspective of the person with the disability.

This study explored perceptions of facilitators and barriers to health and wellness shared by adults with I/DDs through photographs and corresponding narratives. A critical social theory lens supported the approach and analysis of this study. Participants, 11 adults with I/DDs, were given cameras in order to take pictures of situations, experiences, people, and things that affect their health. Through one-on-one interviews, the participants were able to share the meaning of the photo in relation to facilitators and barriers to their health. This technique of taking photos followed by describing photos is known as Photovoice. It has been an especially useful technique to gather data with vulnerable or marginalized populations who often times are not able to find voice or are represented by proxy voice. In addition, nine people who support the participants living an independent life, also known as direct support professionals (DSPs) participated in a focus group meeting. The purpose of that meeting was to share their perceptions around health and wellness for the individuals they support.

Overall, themes generated around facilitators and barriers to health and wellness were similar to those of the general population. However, a more crucial observation was that people with disabilities were able to generate the study data, thus changing how one comes to know about health and wellness for people with disabilities, through an authentic voice. Implications for policy, research, education, and practice are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dacher, Joan E.
Commitee: Acquliano, James P., Pieper, Barbara B.
School: Sage Graduate School
Department: Health Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Adults with disabilities, Health, Intellectual disability, Photovoice, Wellness
Publication Number: 3594096
ISBN: 978-1-303-37726-6
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