Experiences of people with physical disabilities in a low-income neighborhood of bogota, colombia Academic Article


  • Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research


  • Individuals with disabilities living in developing countries often face numerous challenges which make particularly difficult for them to fulfill basic life needs. We present the case study of twelve people unable to walk in a low-income neighborhood of Bogota, Colombia. As health professionals and human rights advocates, we have provided care to these individuals over the past 15 years. Following a subjectivist epistemological approach to qualitative research, we found that these individuals experience four main types of limitations: socio-economic, structural/environmental, emotional, and functional, which restrict their autonomy and life satisfaction. Their limitations make life strenuous and usually produce feelings of sadness, uselessness, and hopelessness. Social support, primarily from family members, alleviates these limitations. By following this group over time, we witnessed a rapid impairment of their health and emotional status, as well as their family members’ growing exhaustion. Several policy changes and practical measures to address this situation are proposed.

publication date

  • 2020-8-3


  • 22


  • Colombia
  • Developing Countries
  • Disabled Persons
  • Economics
  • Emotions
  • Group
  • Health
  • Health Status
  • Human Rights
  • Income
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sadness
  • Social Support
  • autonomy
  • developing country
  • disability
  • economics
  • experience
  • family member
  • health professionals
  • health status
  • human rights
  • low income
  • physical disability
  • qualitative research
  • social support
  • time

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1501-7419

number of pages

  • 12

start page

  • 230

end page

  • 241