Participating in one’s community requires effort. People vary in their capacity for effort and the total amount of energy they may spend before needing to rest. As a result, everyone must make choices about what activities and social roles they spend their effort on.
People with disabilities participate in most aspects of community living at lower rates than people without disabilities. Like all choices, the choice to participate is shaped by preferences (e.g., satisfaction) and constraints (e.g., barriers). While rehabilitation researchers and practitioners have made progress toward understanding the personal and environmental factors that shape participation choices, very little is understood about how effort constrains these choices. Effort capacity may help explain the decisions people make regarding participation in their communities.
In this project, RTC:Rural will examine the relationship between personal effort and community participation by implementing two unique interventions and studying their impacts on the choices people make. In the first intervention, participants will receive an environmental modification to their bathroom, such as grab bars, a removable showerhead, or a raised toilet seat in order to decrease the amount of effort it takes to bathe and groom. For the second intervention, participants will receive physical therapy in order to increase their physical capacity for effort.
This project is a collaboration between RTC:Rural at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and the New Directions program within the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Montana.
- Project dates: 2016 – 2019
- Funded by: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Grant No. 90IF0111-01-00
- Principal Staff: Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D., Mindy Renfro, Ph.D., Bryce Ward, Ph.D., Anita Santasier, Ph.D., Andrew Myers, M.A.
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