Research Article: Motivation Peer Training – Bridging the gap for people with mobility disabilities

Date Published: September 08, 2017

Publisher: AOSIS

Author(s): Lucy K. Norris.

http://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v6i0.350

Abstract

Only 2% of people with disabilities in developing countries have access to basic services and rehabilitation.

To bridge this gap, Motivation has been running Peer Training activities since 1993 and has identified that there is a growing need for Peer Training. The overall aim of Peer Training is for wheelchair users (Peer Trainers) to provide others (with similar disabilities) with the relevant knowledge on health issues, rights and skills to achieve a basic level of independence and greater quality of life.

To test the impact of Peer Training, Motivation created a knowledge, skills and well-being questionnaire, which has been trialled in two locations: Kenya and Malawi.

Overall, Motivation found that most participants reported an increase in knowledge, skills and well-being, supporting their experience that this training provides vital information and support mechanisms for wheelchair users in low- and middle-income countries. Further work is needed to ensure this tool measures the impact of Peer Training and lessons learnt have been identified to strengthen the methodology.

Although Peer Training is not a replacement for rehabilitation services, Motivation believes it is an effective way to not only increase knowledge and skills of persons with disabilities but also reduce the sense of social isolation that can often be a result of disability.

Partial Text

Only 2% of people with disabilities in developing countries have access to basic services and rehabilitation (Despouy 1993). To bridge this gap, Motivation has been running Peer Training activities since 1993 and has identified that there is a growing need for Peer Training. The overall aim of Peer Training is for wheelchair users (Peer Trainers) to provide others (with similar disabilities) with the relevant knowledge on health issues, rights and skills to achieve a basic level of independence and greater quality of life.

In 2014 and 2015, four MPT courses were run in Malawi, with 13 women and 17 men using the original trial questionnaire – participants either had a SCI or cerebral palsy. In Kenya, the questionnaires were tested during two MPT courses (held in 2016), with 11 women and 12 men – all had SCI, except one person who had spina bifida. Two different versions of the questionnaire were used in Kenya. In the first MPT course, a trial version was used, which was updated based on feedback from trainers and trainees; the updated version was then used in the second MPT course. In both locations, a baseline and an ‘after training’ questionnaire were carried out to analyse the impact of the training (i.e. using average score differentials).

At present, the data from the questionnaires are limited because of small sample sizes, modifications, missing data and lack of reliability. It is important to note that although this questionnaire drew on the experience of other validated tests (such as the Wheelchair Skills Test, Dalhousie University 2015), the knowledge, skills and well-being questionnaire was developed for Motivation’s internal use as part of monitoring and evaluation and tailored to meet the needs of users in developing countries.

Motivation’s findings show that, for this sample, there was a positive increase in some domains for people with mobility disabilities. However, the methodology for demonstrating this impact needs further work, based on lessons learned.

 

Source:

http://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v6i0.350

 

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