Quality of Life in Individuals with Physical Disabilities

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The quality of life among individuals with severe physical disabilities has greatly improved during the last two decades, partly as a result of well-planned intervention programmes. However, some individuals with physical disabilities do not cope well in their everyday life, no matter how long they have had the disability. It has been suggested that those individuals who adjust well do so regardless of the degree of their physical impairment.


The subjects were 45 adults with physical disabilities from both Finland and Sweden. The participants filled in a questionnaire and were also interviewed individually.


The quantitative analyses revealed that satisfaction with one’s life situation is a function of the handicapped person’s occupation or meaningful occupational activities, social integration and his/her sense of the meaning of life. Further, the length of time since the onset of the disability was a risk factor for the person’s feeling of satisfaction. The qualitative analyses of the interviews verified the results of the quantitative analyses.


The disability per se did not decrease the disabled individual’s quality of life. The individual’s capacity to cope with everyday life was of great importance. Occupation or meaningful occupational activities as well as social integration at different stages of life should be taken into account when planning intervention programmes in the future.

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