A few interesting new research studies have come out this week that I thought might be of interest. Each of these has some interesting connections with critical physiotherapy. Click on the links in the title of each article for more information.
Characteristics of lifelong physically active older adults
Sheryl L. Chatfield
Most adults in developed countries fail to accrue enough regular physical activity to prevent or decrease the impact of chronic diseases associated with aging. I conducted semistructured interviews with 16 purposely selected older adults ranging in age from 53 to 70 years to explore the practices of successful lifelong adherents to physical activity. I used an interpretive descriptive approach to data analysis. My findings suggest that both social and competitive motivations were important during early adulthood, although for many participants the latter were more likely to endure over time. Based on these findings, I recommend that programmers be aware of the potential for older participants to be less fulfilled by social motivations as they become more experienced exercisers.
Keywords: exercise / physical activity, older people interpretive description interviews, semistructured life history research, qualitative
Chatfield, S. L. (2014). Characteristics of lifelong physically active older adults. Qualitative Health Research, 1049732314554095. doi:10.1177/1049732314554095
Tapio Ojala, Arja Häkkinen, Jaro Karppinen, Kirsi Sipilä, Timo Suutama and Arja Piirainen
Objectives: Chronic pain may disable the body, depress the mind and ruin the quality of life. The aim of this study was to use the participants’ personal experiences to explore the meaning of the experience of chronic pain and to find successful ways to manage chronic pain.
Methods: Thirty-four participants with chronic pain were interviewed. The transcribed interviews were analysed using Giorgi’s phenomenological method consisting of four phases: (1) reading the transcriptions several times, (2) discriminating meaning units, (3) collecting meaning units into groups and (4) the synthesis.
Results: The participants stated that the key to managing chronic pain was to reconsider the individual meaning of the experience of pain. As a result of the interviews, seven subthemes were found based on the ‘Negativity of chronic pain’, namely, ‘State of reflection’, ‘Reconsidering values’, ‘Acceptance of pain’, ‘Support network’, ‘Altered self’, ‘Joys in life’ and ‘Pain dissociation’.
Conclusions: Pain is an aversive sensation, which leads to the conclusion that the meaning of the experience is also negative, but it can be reversed. In clinical practice, the focus should be on revising the subjective meaning of pain in order to manage pain and to restore positivity in personal life.
Keywords: chronic pain, quality of life, life change events
Miriam Goldberg, Noami Hadas-Lidor and Orit Karnieli-Miller
We explored the experiences of social work students with psychiatric difficulties and focused on their challenges as they went through the different stages of development as health care professionals. We interviewed 12 social work students with psychiatric difficulties and analyzed the data using the immersion/crystallization method. The findings reveal the developmental process they underwent from being patients to being “therapatients” (therapists who are also patients; here, therapists coping with psychiatric difficulties). This process included four stages: an initial exploration of the health care world; questioning the possibility of a patient being a therapist and feeling incompetent; identifying their ability to be professionals; and integrating between their patient and therapist parts to become a therapatient. Understanding this process and finding ways to help students through it is crucial to allowing the patient and therapist parts to “live” together and enrich each other, and to allowing integration of professional knowledge and personal experience.
Keywords: education, professional lived experience, mental health and illness, qualitative analysis, social work
Goldberg, M., Hadas-Lidor, N., & Karnieli-Miller, O. (2015). From patient to therapatient. Qualitative Health Research, 25(7), 887-898. doi:10.1177/1049732314553990
Lindsay Stephens, Susan Ruddick and Patricia McKeever
Building on Deleuze’s theories of the becoming of bodies, and notions of the geographic maturity of the disabled body we formulate an emplaced model of disability wherein bodies, social expectations and built form intersect in embodied experiences in specific environments to increase or decrease the capacity of disabled children to act in those environments. We join a growing effort to generate a more comprehensive model of disability, which moves beyond a binary between the individual and the social. Drawing on in-depth case studies conducted with 13 physically disabled children, we consider the intersections between their primary environments (homes, schools and neighbourhoods) and the multiple subjectivities they embody. Ultimately we make a case about the importance of responsive, situated models of subjectivity for the development of adaptations, and that physical and social adaptations must respond to these children’s complex and varied needs and desires.
Keywords: children, Deleuze, disability, embodiment, geography
Stephens, L., Ruddick, S., & McKeever, P. (2014). Disability and deleuze. Body & Society, 1357034X14541155. doi:10.1177/1357034X14541155
B. Basia Kielczynska, Benjamin Kligler and Eileen Specchio
Acupuncture, a licensed health care profession in the United States, is poorly integrated into the American health care system, despite the evidence of its effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to offer a phenomenological description of the experience of acupuncturists who delivered acupuncture care in a tertiary teaching hospital in New York City. We analyzed data using methodology proposed by Colaizzi and identified four major clusters of themes: (a) acupuncturists’ excitement about practicing in a hospital setting and frustration about organizational obstacles to effective acupuncture integration; (b) pride in being holistic practitioners; (c) attempts to preserve the holism and effectiveness of acupuncture while adjusting to the limitations of an inpatient setting, and (d) acupuncturists’ realization that the medical staff knew very little about acupuncture and “it’s all about trust.” Practitioners of other healing traditions and therapies might find our study helpful in their own efforts toward similar integration.
Keywords: health care administration, health care, alternative and complementary health care, interprofessional health care, teamwork health care, transcultural health policy / policy analysis, lived experience, phenomenology research, interdisciplinary research, qualitative
Kielczynska, B. B., Kligler, B., & Specchio, E. (2014). Integrating acupuncture in an inpatient setting. Qualitative Health Research, 24(9), 1242-1252. doi:10.1177/1049732314544969
Cassandra S. Crawford
The body image with respect to physical disability has long been a woefully under-theorized area of scholarship. The literature that does attend to the body image in cases of physical abnormality or functional impairment regularly offer poorly articulated or problematic definitions of the concept, effectively undermining its historic analytic scope and depth. Here, I revisit the epistemic roots of the body image while also engaging the rich contemporary literature from a body studies perspective in order to situate the narratives of amputees about the relationship between dismemberment, prosthetization, phantom limb syndrome, and body image. Stories about living with artificial, fleshy, phantomed, and residual limbs unquestionably reveal a number of peculiarities unique to amputees. However, they also offer a distinctively productive ingress into the analytic utility of a ‘re-visioned’ conceptualization of the body image more broadly speaking. Indeed, the body image can function as a robust investigative tool for exploring the intersubjective, processual, and relational features of embodiment and corporeality.
Keywords: amputation body image phantom limb prostheses
Crawford, C. S. (2015). Body image, prostheses, phantom limbs. Body & Society, 21(2), 221-244. doi:10.1177/1357034X14522102