The meaning of health for women with physical disabilities: A qualitative analysis

Margaret A. Nosek, Rosemary B. Hughes, Carol A. Howland, Mary Ellen Young, Patricia Dolan Mullen, Margarette L. Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Researchers used qualitative research methods to explore determinants of and barriers to the health of women with physical disabilities. Semistructured, open-ended interviews were conducted with one focus group (n = 9) and 9 individual women with various physical disabilities. Participants: (1) defined physical health as a correlate of functional capacity; (2) noted the importance of a positive mental state; (3) recognized the effect of having or lacking social support; (4) described the role of health behaviors in health promotion, as adapted to their functional limitations; and (5) described problems with their medical practitioners' lack of knowledge. Barriers included certain disability characteristics, stress, inadequate social support, societal attitudes, and lack of resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-21
Number of pages16
JournalFamily and Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Disability
  • Functional limitation
  • Health assessment
  • Health definition
  • Independence
  • Physical impairment
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Wellness
  • Women


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