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Perceptions of disability among south Asian immigrant mothers of children with disabilities in Canada: implications for rehabilitation service delivery

Perceptions of disability among south Asian immigrant mothers of children with disabilities in Canada: implications for rehabilitation service delivery

Disability and Rehabilitation 33(6): 511-521

The objectives of this study were to describe perceptions of disability among South Asian immigrant mothers of children with disabilities in a large multicultural urban centre in Ontario, Canada, and to explore how these perceptions influence rehabilitation services. The study was built on our previous work conducted with mothers in South Asia. A descriptive qualitative research design was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five mothers who had immigrated to Canada from South Asia in the last decade, and whose children were receiving outpatient rehabilitation services. Three primary themes were identified: (1) perceptions of disability reflected a mix of traditional and western beliefs; (2) mothers experienced physical, emotional and social suffering related to socio-cultural and material barriers and (3) mothers' primary goal for their children was the achievement of independent walking, which was linked to notions of achieving a ?normal? life and the desire for more rehabilitation interventions. South Asian immigrant mothers' perceptions of their children's disabilities had important similarities and differences to mothers living in South Asia. Healthcare professionals can assist families in managing and coping with their child's disabilities by exploring their unique values and beliefs and identifying achievable outcomes together.

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Accession: 054918462

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20597810

DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2010.498549

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