ERIC Number: EJ890279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Perceptions about Intellectual Disability: A Qualitative Study from Vellore, South India
Edwardraj, S.; Mumtaj, K.; Prasad, J. H.; Kuruvilla, A.; Jacob, K. S.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v54 n8 p736-748 Aug 2010
Background: Cultural and religious beliefs influence perceptions about health and illness. Data, from India, on perceptions about intellectual disability are scant. This study explored people's cultural beliefs and attitudes about intellectual disability, perceived needs and burden associated with care in Vellore, south India. Method: A qualitative methodology using focus groups was employed. Eight focus groups were conducted in three settings and included the mothers of children and adolescents with intellectual disability (four groups, n = 29), community health workers (two groups, n = 17) and schoolteachers (two groups, n = 16). Results: Our results suggest that cultural and religious beliefs perpetuated negative attitudes towards disability. This meant that caregivers bore a high burden of care with little support from family or society. The study confirmed the presence of diverse, multiple and contradictory models of disability drawing from biomedical and local religious, social and cultural constructs. Conclusions: Public awareness, education and community-level interventions for reducing the misconceptions and stigma related to intellectual disability are needed in addition to culturally sensitive treatment methods to improve the attitude towards and management of intellectual disability.
Descriptors: Mothers, Children, Adolescents, Mental Retardation, Negative Attitudes, Focus Groups, Foreign Countries, Misconceptions, Cultural Influences, Religion, Disabilities, Qualitative Research, Caregiver Role, Models, Intervention, Social Bias, Cultural Awareness, Attitudes toward Disabilities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India