Browsing by Subject "disability"

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  • Cruise, Sharon; Hughes, John; Bennett, Kathleen; Kouvonen, Anne Maria; Kee, Frank (2019)
    Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD)–related disability (hereafter also “disability”) and the impact of CHD risk factors on disability in older adults in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI). Method: Population attributable fractions were calculated using risk factor relative risks and disability prevalence derived from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing and the Northern Ireland Health Survey. Results: Disability was significantly lower in ROI (4.1% vs. 8.8%). Smoking and diabetes prevalence rates, and the fraction of disability that could be attributed to smoking (ROI: 6.6%; NI: 6.1%), obesity (ROI: 13.8%; NI: 11.3%), and diabetes (ROI: 6.2%; NI: 7.2%), were comparable in both countries. Physical inactivity (31.3% vs. 54.8%) and depression (10.2% vs. 17.6%) were lower in ROI. Disability attributable to depression (ROI: 16.3%; NI: 25.2%) and physical inactivity (ROI: 27.5%; NI: 39.9%) was lower in ROI. Discussion: Country-specific similarities and differences in the prevalence of disability and associated risk factors will inform public health and social care policy in both countries.
  • Eriksson, Veronica (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Migraine was ranked as the second largest cause of disability in 2016 in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. People with migraine have a greater disability and a lower health-related quality of life than those of the general population. Many migraine patients experience functional and emotional impairment due to their disease. Migraine can limit their daily activities and impact their private, professional and social life. Migraine affects the patient also in between the attacks and can impact their education, career and their family and loved ones. Comorbid diseases and failed treatment lines add to the burden of migraine. Furthermore, migraine also imposes an economic burden. Stigma is described as the hidden burden of disease. Chronic migraine patients have been found to have higher stigma than episodic migraine patients. Even though migraine is one of the most common disabling headache disorders, it is still both under-recognised, under-diagnosed and under-treated. The objectives of this study were to determine the extent of the burden and the stigma of migraine in adult Finnish migraine patients. This study aimed to produce comprehensive and current information about migraine and its severity in Finland, highlighting the burden it poses on the migraine patients as well as on society. Migraine is most prevalent among the working aged population, which increases the societal burden of the disease. This study was conducted as a cross-sectional electronic survey amongst adult Finnish migraine patients. The participants were contacted through the Finnish Migraine Patient Advocacy Group. The questionnaire consisted of the already existing and validated Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) Questionnaire and of measures developed by the author. The final data consisted of 608 responses. Of all respondents with 8 or more headache days a month, over 90% were categorised in the severe disability group (MIDAS grade IV), thus having similar disability to those with 15 or more headache days a month (i.e. respondents with probable chronic migraine). The proportion of respondents with severe disability (MIDAS grade IV) was greater in the present study (65.0%) than in a study conducted in Finland in 2000 (47%), indicating that migraine disability in Finland might have become more severe during the past two decades. The mean level of headache pain in the present study was 6.2 (on a scale of 0-10) and pain was the aspect that most respondents viewed as the worst aspect of migraine. This highlights the importance of proper pain management in migraine care. Many of the respondents were also at risk for medication overuse, which highlights the importance of monitoring medication use and informing the patients about possible risks. Stress was reported as the most common migraine trigger, and reducing stress at the workplace was also reported as the most important way of how migraine could better be managed at the workplace. Almost half (44.4%) of all respondents felt stigmatised due to their migraine. Reasons for this stigma and suggested solutions on how to reduce/manage the stigma were quite similar. The ignorance of others was the most reported reason for their migraine stigma, and increasing awareness and correct information about migraine was the most reported way of reducing the stigma. Many of the respondents had faced, due to their migraine, belittlement at work, from family and friend and from healthcare professionals. Facing belittlement from healthcare professionals was reported to have happened often by 11.5% and sometimes by 34.7% of all respondents. Of all respondents, 55.6% worried often and 29.8% worried sometimes about the onset of the next migraine attack. The majority of the respondents had severe disability based on their MIDAS grades. Many other aspect of the burden were reported as well, inculding stigma, reported by almost half of the respondents. Further and future studies need to be conducted to get an even better understanding of the burden and stigma of migraine experienced by adult Finnish migraine patients. This includes further and more intricate quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data from this study, as´well as studies with new perspectives based on the results found in this study.
  • Katsui, Hisayo (2005)
    This study focused on political approach of civic activism in the field of disability. The political approach refers to rights-oriented approach that challenges existing unequal power structure so that ultimate goal of equality is fulfilled. This approach was elaborated through a project investigation of a Finnish disabled people's organisation in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In order to understand this organisational reality, its background context, namely daily experiences of disabled people in Central Asia, was also scrutinised. The aims were to clarify vulnerability creation mechanism, complex reality of the Finnish intervention in Central Asia and possibility of the political approach in Central Asia. Final goal was that this thesis, including its process, both academically and practically contributes to the disability movement and their equality. Basic qualitative methodology with deep, personal interviews and observation was applied. Perspective of disabled people was central. Data analysis applied similar method as qualitative content analysis and was made with disability theories: social and political models of disability. The main findings are three-folded. Firstly, the study clarified the main factors of the vulnerability creation mechanism that makes and reinforces the deviant role of disabled people in Central Asia. This clarification proves that disability is a human construction not only in Western countries but also in ex-socialist countries. That is, West-oriented social model of disability makes sense in these countries. Secondly, heterogeneity of disabled people became clear despite of the existence of the social mechanism. Having acknowledged the multiplicity, fighting against disability needs multiple approaches firstly to deal with the multiple layers of the mechanism, secondly to deal also with other discrimination against sex, age, ethnic origin etc. and thirdly to meet needs of individuals. Thirdly, implications toward equality were elaborated. This study found out that political approach can play a role in localised manner in Central Asia. It is important for all actors in the society to realise that even a small change can make a difference. Especially active role of disabled people to make a difference with the political approach was highlighted after they are aware of their rights and ownership.
  • Vuoksenmaa, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The purpose of this thesis is to study healing scenes in late ancient Roman martyr passions, the gesta martyrum. The passions have been relatively understudied until recently, and their storylines, in particular, have rarely been studied. The high incidence of miraculous healings has directed me to focus on depictions of physical, sensory and mental infirmities. The purposes their healing serves in the passions are at the centre of this study. My research questions are the following: Why are people with infirmities healed in the passions? What kind of infirmities are healed? Are there positive depictions of infirmity? To illustrate the diversity of emphases in different passions, I have studied four separate narratives, each one from a different thematic point of view. First, I focus on the relationship between healing and conversion. Secondly, I study the use of infirmities in demeaning one’s enemies. Thirdly, I study virginity and its protection by infirmity and its removal. In my final chapter, I discuss if it is possible to see the bodies of martyrs as infirm bodies. I use theories and concepts from disability studies are used to study the representations and uses of infirm bodies in the narratives. David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder’s narrative prosthesis calls attention to the narrative’s exploitation of disabled bodies to pursue abstract goals. Anna Rebecca Solevåg’s concept of disability invective focuses on the use of disability as an accusation. Crip theory will offer tools to discuss inclusive portrayals of infirmity and whether or not these can be found in the passions. The results of the study show that infirm bodies were valuable tools which are used for multiple, partly overlapping goals. Healings promote saints, attract converts, and ridicule the enemies of the Christians. Infirmity is particularly often related to ideas of masculinity which accusations and inflictions of infirmity effectively weaken. A specific infirmity is chosen to be healed because its connotations are useful in pursuit of specific narrative goals. The healing usually aims at the future, as the passions emphasise the newly healed person’s future life as a non-infirm Christian. Infirm bodies are easily instrumentalised because in the logic of the passions, their existence contains an objective for change. An infirm body is always seen in need of eventual healing – if not in this world then in the afterlife. The ways the passions use infirmity marginalise it into something that mostly exists to prove a point. Similar problems can be encountered even today when people with infirmities hear or read narratives containing similar tones. The use of bodies with infirmities stands out for its flexibility and unexpected versatility and calls for further study.
  • Saukkonen, Eero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This Master’s thesis concerns the self-making practices of persons with physical disabilities in Zambia. The thesis is grounded in data gathered across three months of fieldwork conducted mostly in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. The bulk of these data consists of semi-structured interviews with individuals who were long-time users of mobility aids, namely orthopaedic prostheses and braces, crutches and wheelchairs. The study aims to contribute to broadening the available literature on the subjective experiences of disability, literature that has so far been sparse and disproportionately focused on Europe and North America. In this study, the task of self-making is approached through Michel Foucault’s concept of ‘technologies of the self’. Dissonant scholarship on ‘practices of freedom’ – technologies of the self that are applied with critical reflection – is examined to construct a workable synthesis. The resultant theoretical construction is then applied to the technologies used by Zambian persons with disabilities to determine whether these may be called practices of freedom. The common assertion in much of the Foucauldian scholarship that practices of freedom lead individuals to practice power in a manner that advances social equality is also interrogated in light of the present study. The study divides the examined technologies of the self into two groups; those that take as their object the physical being in the world of the individual with disabilities, and those that focus on addressing the narratives – both external and internalised – concerning disability and the individual. Technologies of the former kind examined include the management of one’s apparent level of impairment through the selective use and concealment of assistive devices; the incorporation of one’s mobility aids into the body-image; autonomous movement; and the refusal of help. Technologies in the latter category include accepting disability; challenging preconceptions of inability through example; engaging with others to sensitise them to disability; and self-narration that emphasises capability, mobility, financial stability and universal relevance of impairment. This thesis argues that dominant local discourse in Zambia still necessitates persons with disabilities to acquire first the capacity to question the prevailing norms surrounding themselves in order to achieve the kind of autonomy exhibited by the informants in the study. In accordance with the constructed theoretical synthesis, this critical awareness qualifies the technologies of the self utilised by the informants as practices of freedom. On the basis of its modest scope, the study gives conditional backing to the idea that practices of freedom create individuals that contribute to processes of social liberation. It is also noted, however, that technologies that may be considered practices of freedom in the context of disability may simultaneously work to reinforce other oppressive power relationships, such as those concerning gender, and that more research is needed on the intersection of disability with other marginalised identities in order to better understand these connections. In the meanwhile, the study encourages researchers to take care to respect the freedom of their subjects to not advance transformative social agendas with their every action.