Mobility impairment and life satisfaction in the Northern Region of Malawi

African Journal of Disability

Field Value
Title Mobility impairment and life satisfaction in the Northern Region of Malawi
Creator Alswang, Jared M. Belshe, William B. Killi, Dexter Bandawe, Weston Silliman, Erin S. Bastian, Aaron C. Upchurch, Brooke K. Bastian, Megan F. Pinal, Sierra M. Klein, Mark B. Ndhlozi, Bertha Silva, Mauricio Chipolombwe, John Thompson, Rachel M.
Subject rehabilitation medicine; mental health; rural health mobility impairment; life satisfaction; physical activity; mobility assistive devices; physical disability.
Description Background: There exist many psychosocial sequelae associated with mobility impairment, especially in low-resource settings where access to mobility assistive devices is limited.Objectives: This study aims to (1) define the burden and presenting aetiologies of mobility impairment in the rural Northern Region of Malawi and (2) assess the relationship between physical disability, life satisfaction and access to mobility aids.Methods: At mobility device donation clinics throughout the Northern Region of Malawi, adults living with mobility impairment were surveyed with a demographic questionnaire and a series of validated surveys to assess their physical activity levels (Global Physical Activity Questionnaire [GPAQ]), degree of mobility impairment (Washington Group Extended Set Questions on Disability) and life satisfaction (patient-reported outcomes measurement information systems satisfaction with participation in social roles and general life satisfaction).Results: There were 251 participants who qualified for inclusion, of which 193 completed all surveys. Higher physical activity scores were positively correlated with increased life satisfaction: (1) satisfaction with participation in social roles (0.481, p 0.0001) and (2) general life satisfaction (0.230, p 0.001). Respondents who had previously used a formal mobility device reported 235.5% higher physical activity levels ([139.0%, 333.0%], p = 0.006), significantly higher satisfaction with participation in social roles ([0.21, 6.67], p = 0.037) and equivocally higher general life satisfaction ([−1.77, 3.84], p = 0.470).Conclusion: Disability and mental health do not exist in isolation from one another. Given the positive correlations between formal mobility device usage and both physical activity and life satisfaction, interventions that increase access to mobility-assistive devices in undertreated populations are imperative.Contribution: This study contributes to the understanding of the complex relationship between physical disability, access to mobility aids, and life satisfaction. Results from this study suggest the potential benefit that increasing access to mobility aids may have in improving the quality of life of mobility impaired persons in resource-limited settings, such as the Northern Region of Malawi.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2022-09-22
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Cross-Sectional Observational Study
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1013
Source African Journal of Disability; Vol 11 (2022); 7 pages 2226-7220 2223-9170
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:
Coverage Africa; Malawi; Northern Region; Mzimba District; Nkhatabay District; Rumphi DIstrict July 2019 Adults (18+) with Mobility Impairments
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Jared M. Alswang, William B. Belshe, Dexter Killi, Weston Bandawe, Erin S. Silliman, Aaron C. Bastian, Brooke K. Upchurch, Megan F. Bastian, Sierra M. Pinal, Mark B. Klein, Bertha Ndhlozi, Mauricio Silva, John Chipolombwe, Rachel M. Thompson