Living with a disability: a qualitative study of associations between social relations, social participation and quality of life

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Louise Norman Jespersen
  • Susan Ishøy Michelsen
  • Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen
  • Marie Kofod Svensson
  • Bjørn Evald Holstein
  • Pernille Due
Purpose: We explored which shared aspects of social relations were considered important to the quality of life of persons between the ages of 10 and 40 years living with a disability. We examined how social relations were experienced as affecting quality of life and social participation.
Materials and methods: Fifteen focus groups involving 48 persons with disabilities were conducted using photo elicitation, preference ranking and props. Focus group interviews were supplemented with seven individual interviews with individuals unable to participate in focus groups. All focus group interviews and individual interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and thematic data analysis was conducted.
Results: We identified caregiving, dependency, and understanding as essential for quality of life. Acceptance from society, discrimination and prejudice, and the ability to participate in society were also highlighted as affecting quality of life. The use of social tactics to avoid confrontation with certain aspects of their disability was common among participants.
Conclusions: Across disabilities, caregiving, dependency, understanding and acceptance, and discriminationand prejudice were all important aspects for the quality of life of the individuals. Social relations were closely related to social participation, and the latter affected the quality of life of the participants. Social tactics were used to navigate social relations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1275-1286
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 195408342