Living a life with a physical impairment in Taiwan : "It is more than just the impairment"

Lin, Hsiu-Ching (2012) Living a life with a physical impairment in Taiwan : "It is more than just the impairment". PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis is concerned with understanding what it is like to live with a physical impairment in Taiwan. Constructionism was used as the epistemological stance to guide the study and Heideggerian interpretive phenomenology was used as the theoretical perspective. Information was gained through a series of in-depth interviews with seven Taiwanese adults with a physical impairment living in the community. They were recruited from Yunlin and Tainan Counties in Taiwan. Study participants were seen as research partners who had expertise in understanding disability, and the researcher was seen as a learner.

Grounded theory principles were used to develop the theory "it is more than just the impairment" from the information provided by the participants. According to their descriptions of how they lived their lives, participants are grouped into three clusters. These are ‘fortress ladies’, ‘social networkers’ and ‘the mind man’. The grounded theory developed portrays their lives, providing a vivid picture of living a life with a physical impairment in Taiwan.

The study’s findings contribute to three main areas. First, as an occupational therapist and with my growing understanding of disability learned from the study participants, I recognize the agency of people with an impairment and their expertise in disability. Thus, I argue the need for health professionals to build alliances with them, and suggest ways to achieve such a relationship. Second, I propose the developed conceptual framework is suitable for exploring lived experience in other research areas; I discuss the implications of the subtle interactions between impaired people’s body and mind; I also present three impressive lived experiences provided by study participants as exemplars of the findings, and these form the foundation for discussion. Finally, the development of "it is more than just the impairment" provides a basis from which to theorize disability in a more holistic way.

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ID Code: 55133
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Knox, Marie F. & Barr, Jennieffer A.
Keywords: physical impairment, lived experience, disability, disablism, community, inclusion, taiwan, cultural understanding of disability, qualitative, collaborative partnership
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2012 23:59
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2017 14:43

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