Women With Physical Disabilities' Experiences of Abuse

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    DESCRIPTION: Women with physical disabilities are at risk for abuse in multiple and complex ways. This population experiences abuse from many sources, including but not limited to intimate partners, care givers, and health care providers. In addition, the nature of the abuse women with physical disabilities experience is, at times, disability specific. Despite the significant health risks associated with woman abuse, the vulnerable position of women with disabilities in society, and the fact that many women with physical disabilities are medically fragile, there is a paucity of information available about the complex abuse experience of this group of women. To address this gap in the literature and promote the overall health and safety of women with physical disabilities, the specific aims of the proposed study are: (1) to describe women with physical disabilities' lived experiences of abuse in the context of society; (2) to describe women with physical disabilities' concerns and background meanings with regard to the influence of abuse on their emotional, social and physical well-being; and (3) to recommend abuse assessment and intervention strategies to prevent and end the problem of abuse as it occurs among women with physical disabilities. To achieve these aims the proposed study will employ a critical hermeneutic design. This approach allows for the context and meaning of everyday life experiences to emerge. Thirty women with physical disabilities from diverse ethnic backgrounds who have experienced abuse will be asked to participate in two unstructured individual interview. The initial interview will gather a life history, along with the details of abuse experiences and the meaning of these experiences to each participant. Second interviews will follow-up on emerging themes, gaps, and areas of apparent contradiction. Analysis of data will occur both within and across narratives to ensure that both commonalities and differences within the sample are examined. NU*DIST, a qualitative data management software program, will be used during the analysis phase of the proposed study. The long-term goal of this program of research is to promote the health and safety of women with physical disabilities by increasing awareness and promoting a contextual understanding of their abuse experiences. It is anticipated that this understanding will facilitate the development of clinically relevant, intervention strategies specifically targeted for use with this vulnerable population.
    Effective start/end date4/1/013/31/04


    • National Institutes of Health


    • Medicine(all)
    • Nursing(all)


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