Wanting a Life in Decency! : A Qualitative Study from Experienced Electric Wheelchairs Users’ perspective


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Publication Details

Author list: Kristiansen, Lisbeth

Publication year: 2018

Start page: 419

End page: 433

Number of pages: 15

ISSN: 2162-5336

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojn.2018.87033


Background: The functionality and the safety of the electric wheelchairs were essential for users’ everyday life. Some evidence indicated that the wheelchair Per Se highly influenced users’ occupational life, their personal identity and social life; further, the wheelchair became an extension of the body and more than a technical device. Besides, there was still both environmental and self-efficacy or/and mental health factors obstacles for full social participation. Even so, there was to some extent stigma related to being a wheelchair user. There was a need to reflect users’ perspective on being depended on electric wheelchair. The aim, accordingly, was to describe and to get a deeper insight into electric wheelchairs users’ perspective and experiences of utilizing this device; a qualitative design with an inductive approach was used. Method: Qualitative latent and interpretative content analysis [1] [2] was used after repeated face-to-face semi-structured interviews with three experienced Swedish electric wheelchair users during the autumn 2017. Findings: The findings showed a high degree of dependability of the assistants that supported the users, and of the quality of that working relationship. The findings were formulated, abstracted and interpreted in several steps. It showed one theme of meaning: “Living in a space shifting between potential violation of or respect for human dignity”. Conclusion: The study showed that electric wheelchair users were relatively content with their lives as well as with their devices in turns of mobility and accessibility, but the meaning of their narrations showed a life at constant risk of having the respect of human rights and human respect violated. Besides, the importance of having access to good and high quality devices, good staffing, and environmental support, all in concordance with human rights, the clinical and practical implications of this study narrows down to a question of encountering the other person as a whole and worthy individual.


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