People with disabilities--the same, but different: implications for health care practice

J Transcult Nurs. 1999 Oct;10(4):358-64. doi: 10.1177/104365969901000414.


Despite the author's experiences as a nurse and parent of a young adult with physical disabilities, the author had much to learn about the culture surrounding disability. The contemporary "minority-group" model for disability replaces a medical model that views people with disabilities in need of remediation. Disability rights advocates often criticize health professionals, citing erroneous assumptions and failure to understand the perspectives of disabled persons. The author illustrates applications for clinical practice by health professionals with excerpts from a qualitative study that explored the spiritual experiences of adults with physical disabilities and family members as well as their responses to lived experience with disability.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation
  • Empathy
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Models, Nursing
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Prejudice*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Social Identification*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires