Skip To Main Content University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  maximizing potential across the lifespan

Title:

Pathways of change experienced by people aging with disability: a focus group study

Author(s):

Yorkston, K.M., Molton, I.R., McMullen, K.A., & Jensen, M.P

Year:

2010

Publication Info:

Disability and Rehabilitation, 32:1687-1704

Abstract:

PURPOSE: To examine the issues related to aging with disability from the perspective of the person with the disabilities.
METHOD: Twelve community-dwelling adults with spinal cord injury (SCI), post-polio syndrome (PPS) or multiple sclerosis (MS) participated in focus groups where they were asked open-ended questions about changes related to aging with disability, accommodations made and perspectives on the future.
RESULTS: Results of qualitative analysis suggested five major themes related to aging with a disability: (1) Participant identity, including comments about how participants described themselves and their lives with a long-standing disability; (2) Physical pathways including comments about the progression of physical symptoms; (3) Psychosocial pathways, including descriptions of adaptations to disability, the development of emotional well-being and strategies to deal with disability; (4) Changing health care, reflecting improvement noted over time in health care services; and (5) Concerns about the future, including comments reflecting participant uncertainty about the potential course of disability.
CONCLUSIONS: The process of aging with disability was characterised by multiple pathways. Some, including positive psychosocial adjustment and medical advancements, were favourable, while others, including physical decline, were not. The co-existence of high quality of life in the presence of physical decline is consistent with a larger literature in older adults, and future research should focus on identifying aging factors that may contribute to the buffering the psychological impact of physical decline.

Link to Article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20225933

Featured Research Articles

Assistive Technology

View the latest research articles on Assistive Technology written by faculty from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Volunteer to Participate in our Research Studies

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is looking for volunteers to participate in research studies on Multiple Sclerosis & Pain Management, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Level A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Copyright © 2000-2017 University of Washington