This hermeneutic phenomenological study sought to understand the experiences of physical activity and aging with a disability. Six women with physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy (n = 2), acquired brain injury (n = 1), and spinal cord injury (n = 3), and between the ages of 22-37 years (mean age = 28 years) participated in the study. Their experiences were captured by way of semi-structured interviews. Each participant completed two interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: experiencing something normal, loss of physical freedom, and maintaining function through physical activity. Implications of the findings were discussed within the context of health promotion and Verbrugge and Jette’s (1994) socio-medical model of disablement.
The authors are with the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7N 5B2. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This study was funded by the Health Science Utilization Research Commission of Saskatchewan, Canada.