Reconceptualising Parkinson’s from illness to wellness: Advancing physiotherapy practice through Action Research

RAMASWAMY, Bhanu (2016). Reconceptualising Parkinson’s from illness to wellness: Advancing physiotherapy practice through Action Research. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

‘Staying well’ is a reason people attend exercise classes run by the Sheffield Branch of the charity Parkinson’s UK. ‘Wellness’ is a social construct given meaning by the context in which it is used, and by whom. It is hard to define, yet is an aim of physiotherapy professional practice, and a main goal of health policy in the United Kingdom. The Doctoral Research Project was undertaken to explore the role of physiotherapy for people affected by Parkinson’s undertaking activities to attain wellness through the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology. PAR is a transformative method, and the project evolved through three successive cycles of interaction with recruited co-researchers (the MontyZoomers). The scope developed from action research (a listening and responding role), through participatory action (advising, social involvement and knowledge generation), broadening into emancipation action (regaining a political stance after group and individual identity had been [re]established). Exchanging stories of altering health experiences (even pre-diagnosis) enabled a review of how negatively communicated beliefs and information from health professionals had formed peoples’ understanding of Parkinson’s (epistemology). The qualitative and quantitative projects chosen and analysed by the MontyZoomers allowed them to develop a new way of seeing their journey (ontology), one they wanted communicated to the wider health and social care professionals. The MontyZoomers utilised their new knowledge to construct a socially-driven consensus model. The message of interdependence and hope that enables people affected by Parkinson’s to remain well is what the thesis contributes to physiotherapy practice and knowledge. In the current political climate pushing self-management and empowerment agenda for people with long-term conditions, physiotherapy education and practice can facilitate the process of self-determination for people with Parkinson’s to achieve control over their own health, decided by their own actions to support one another, and be supported by all involved others through interdependent relationships within the broader community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2017 15:24
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2017 17:10
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15257

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