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Reading: Experiences of Persons with Disabilities and their Quality of Life in Two Namibian Villages


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Original Research Articles

Experiences of Persons with Disabilities and their Quality of Life in Two Namibian Villages


Tonderai Washington Shumba ,

Department of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, University of Namibia, NA
About Tonderai

Dr. Tonderai Washington Shumba is a Lecturer with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Namibia. He is a registered physiotherapist with a Ph.D. in Public Health Medicine. Dr. Tonderai has 16 year's experience in both clinical and community physiotherapy and has practised in Zimbabwe and Namibia. His interest lies in research on community based rehabilitation programmes, with a focus on monitoring and evaluation. He also has a great interest in evidence synthesis research methods (scoping reviews and systematic reviews), health policy analysis, and qualitative research.

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Indres Moodley

University of Kwazulu Natal, ZA
About Indres
Indres Moodley was a Professor in the Discipline of Public Health at University of Kwazulu-Natal. He died in 2020.
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Purpose: The study aimed to determine the convergence and divergence of the Photovoice method and the WHOQOL-BREF assessment in integrating the experiences of persons with disabilities with Community-Based Rehabilitation and their quality of life respectively. It also aimed to propose a shared framework for Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programme evaluation in Namibia.

Method: A qualitative phenomenological design was utilised. Twelve participants were part of this study.The primary data sets used for analysis were photographs taken during a study using the Photovoice method and the results from the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. The Photovoice process preceded completion of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. Information about the participants was gathered during the two phases. The CBR Matrix developed by the World Health Organisation was utilised to determine themes for the Photovoice method. Results of the Photovoice study were integrated with those of the WHOQOL-BREF to determine convergence and divergence.

Results: Notably, most participants (n=8) in both study sites had low scores regarding their quality of social relationships and environment. Furthermore, the Photovoice method revealed negative experiences of the participants regarding the environment (physical safety and security, home environment, financial resources, health and social care, access to information, recreation and leisure, physical environment, and transport). By and large there was a stronger convergence than divergence of the Photovoice method and WHOQOL-BREF assessment.

Conclusion and Implications: Notwithstanding the in-depth investigation, the small sample size limits generalisability of the research findings. A study with a larger sample size is needed to confirm the findings, especially regarding the WHOQOL-BREF assessment.

This study proposes a practice framework for CBR programme evaluation in Namibia that integrates the WHO CBR Matrix, Photovoice method, WHOQOL-BREF and highlights from the other frameworks. Further studies are required to validate the framework.

How to Cite: Shumba, T.W. and Moodley, I., 2021. Experiences of Persons with Disabilities and their Quality of Life in Two Namibian Villages. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 32(2), pp.6–29. DOI:
Published on 29 Jul 2021.


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