Publications by authors named "Renee A Hepperlen"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Caring for a child with a disability in a Zambian community: A study using photo-elicitation.

Child Care Health Dev 2021 Jan 20. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Occupational Therapy Program, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Background: Over the past 25 years, caregivers of children with disabilities (CWD) in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have received limited attention from researchers. Previous research identified the physical, emotional, and social challenges of caregiving in resource-limited areas. Researchers also identified protective factors, such as problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. This study seeks to explore experiences of caregivers of CWD through participant-driven photo-elicitation, in a low-income subdistrict of Lusaka, Zambia.

Methods: Researchers considered the experiences of caregivers providing support to their children with disabilities (CWD). Ten parent participants completed this qualitative study using photo-elicitation. Parent participants completed an individual interview to describe their experiences reflected in the pictures they took. The research team used qualitative content analysis to identify the themes.

Results: Five general themes emerged from the data. The last two themes, "Also, a human being," and "The community should learn," are unique in research of CWD caregivers in LMIC settings. It indicates ways that these parents sought to encourage more inclusion and acceptance of their CWD in the community and to speak to other parents who might be struggling with providing care for their CWD.

Conclusions: This study expanded disability research to include perspectives from a low-income area in Lusaka, Zambia. In doing so, we acquire a new viewpoint and enhanced understanding of their community experiences. Practice considerations include encouraging disability advocates to continue their work of educating the community about the inherent dignity and worth of people with disabilities and supporting CWD's rights.
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January 2021

Evaluating the cross-cultural validity of three family quality of life sub-scales.

J Appl Res Intellect Disabil 2020 Sep 24;33(5):1049-1058. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Public Health Department, St. Catherine University, Saint Paul, MN, USA.

Background: Families of children with disabilities often face unique challenges. Developed in a U.S. context, the Beach Center Family Quality of Life measure assesses the effectiveness of supports and services that families receive. This study examines whether items from three sub-scales of the Beach Center instrument perform similarly for two samples, one from Lusaka, Zambia, and the second from a Midwestern U.S. state.

Methods: This cross-sectional research used secondary data and completed hierarchical ordinal regression analyses on item-level performance within the sub-scales.

Results: Only one item flagged for potential item bias with remaining items performing similarly when controlling for overall sub-scale scores.

Conclusions: This study extends existing research on the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of the Beach Center measure, providing additional validity evidence about the internal structure of the scales. Findings indicate that these items are acceptable outcome measures for policy and programme evaluations in Zambia.
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September 2020