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'I Feel Free': the Experience of a Peer Education Program with Fijians with Spinal Cord Injury

journal contribution
posted on 18.11.2020, 04:58 by Lisa Chaffey, Christine Bigby
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

This paper examined the experiences of people with spinal cord injury and related neurological conditions (collectively referred to as SCI) who participated in a peer education program in Fiji and explored their perceptions of its impact on their community participation. The study used an exploratory qualitative design, involving nine people with SCI. Data were obtained via semi-structured interviews, six months after the initial peer education program delivered by the first author and another Australian wheelchair user. Three themes described participants’ experiences and perceptions of the peer education program. The world closes down illustrated the way that physical environments and community attitudes were unsupportive of participants’ fulfilling life roles. Seeing the possibilities described the participants’ experiences of learning from peers and beginning to imagine new possibilities. The final theme, Opening up the world, identified their perception of the peer education program’s impact, as their worlds opened up, and they resumed previously abandoned responsibilities and activities. Participants valued contact with peer educators as much as they did the content taught. Their greater sense of confidence, communication skills and wheelchair use contributed to participants’ increased sense of community participation.

Funding

La Trobe Asia

La Trobe University Institute for Human Security and Social Change

History

Publication Date

13/11/2017

Journal

Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

Volume

30

Issue

2

Pagination

14p. (p. 175-188)

Publisher

Springer

ISSN

1056-263X

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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