Friday, March 6, 2009

National Study Of Women With Physical Disabilities

National Study Of Women With Physical Disabilities

National Study Of Women With Physical Disabilities
Center for Research on Women with Disabilities
3440 Richmond Avenue, Suite B - Houston, Texas 77046
Phone: 713-960-0505 Toll Free: 800-44-CROWD Fax: 713-961-3555
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Baylor College of Medicine


Nosek MA, Howland CA, Rintala DH, Young ME, and Chanpong GF. National
Study of Women with Physical Disabilities: Final Report. Houston: Center
for Research on Women with Disabilities, 1997.

The study examined a broad range of issues facing women with physical
disabilities. It consisted of two phases. Phase I was a qualitative
interview study of 31 women with physical disabilities which helped us
understand all the various aspects of sexuality from the point of view of
the woman with a disability. Quotes from these women are scattered
throughout the report. The themes we identified in these interviews fell
into six basic domains: 1) sense of self , 2) relationship issues, 3)
information about sexuality, 4) sexual functioning, 5) abuse, and 6)
general and reproductive health. With the assistance of national and local
advisors, including consumers, researchers, medical professionals, social
workers, and educators, the research team developed a questionnaire that
represented all the primary themes from the qualitative study and issues
raised in the literature. In Phase II, we identified 1,150 women with
physical disabilities around the country who volunteered to participate in
the study or who were recruited through independent living centers in each
federal region. We sent each of them two copies of this questionnaire, one
for her to complete and one for her to give to an able-bodied female
friend to complete. We received responses from 45% of this sample, or a
total of 946 women, 504 of whom had physical disabilities and 442 who did
not have disabilities.

Major Findings

See Details at the URL Immediately Above

1. Women with disabilities have limited opportunities to establish
romantic relationships.

2. Self-esteem in women with physical disabilities is more strongly
influenced by social and environmental factors than by the fact of having
a disability.

3. Abuse is a very serious problem for women with disabilities. They have
even fewer options for escaping or resolving the abuse than women in

4. Women with physical disabilities have as much sexual desire as women in
general; however, they do not have as much opportunity for sexual

5. Women with physical disabilities encounter serious barriers to
receiving general and reproductive health care.

Table of Contents for This Report

Special Summary
(en espaol)

Final Report

Major Findings
Description of the Sample
Sense of Self
Information about Sexuality
Sexual Functioning
Sexually Transmitted Dieases
Chronic Conditions
Health Maintenance Behaviors
Gynecologic Health
Health Care Utilization

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