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Original Research Articles

Evaluation of Environmental Barriers faced by Wheelchair Users in India

Authors:

Sangita Devi,

Department of Physiotherapy, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Teaching Hospital, Bangalore 560054, IN
About Sangita

Mrs Sangita Devi (MPT) is a practicing clinical physiotherapist. She was actively involved in CBR activities and training of students in CBR as a post graduate student at M.S Ramaiah Medical College.

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Soumya Goyal ,

Department of Physiotherapy, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Teaching Hospital, MSR Nagar, Bangalore 560054, IN
About Soumya

Dr Soumya Goyal (MPT) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiotherapy at M.S. Ramaiah hospital. She is actively involved in teaching, training and research activities in CBR for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. She has set up urban and rural physiotherapy outreach programmes in Karnataka, India.

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Savita Ravindra

Department of Physiotherapy, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Teaching Hospital, Bangalore 560054, IN
About Savita

Dr. Savita Ravindra (MPT) is a senior professor and Head of Department of Physiotherapy at M.S. Ramaiah Medical College. An astute clinician and an avid researcher, she has co-authored over 15 national and international publications in the field of physiotherapy and medical education. She is also a member of the administrative council for both Indian and the World Confederation of Physical Therapists.

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Abstract

Purpose: Environmental factors restrict the extent to which people with disabilities can participate in society. The reduction of environmental barriers will increase their participation in the social, educational and vocational spheres of life. With the use of a valid and reliable tool - the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors (CHIEF) questionnaire - this study aimed to evaluate the environmental barriers faced by wheelchair users in Bangalore city, India.

Method: A convenience sample of 100 wheelchair users, between 16 and 40 years of age, and working in different institutions in Bangalore, participated in the study. The CHIEF questionnaire was administered to each participant. It consisted of multiple questions pertaining to the 5 components of environmental barriers faced by wheelchair users: Accessibility, Accommodation, Resource availability, Social support and Equality. Percentage values for the responses in each component were calculated.

Results: The results showed that 52% of wheelchair users faced problems in Accessibility on a daily basis, and 77% of them felt the problem was big. With respect to Accommodation, 41% faced problems once a month and 50% of them felt that this was a big problem. The maximum percentage of participants did not face problems in Resource availability (43%), Social support (50%) and Equality (59%), and therefore these aspects were not felt to be a big problem.

Conclusion: An understanding of the environmental barriers faced by wheelchair users can provide guidance in mapping policies and strengthening laws which would help to improve their quality of life.

How to Cite: Devi, S., Goyal, S. and Ravindra, S., 2013. Evaluation of Environmental Barriers faced by Wheelchair Users in India. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 24(3), pp.61–74. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v24i3.209
Published on 06 Nov 2013.

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