Motivation and the Coping Process of Adults with Disabilities: A Qualitative Study


Arizona State University, College of Nursing, PO Box 872602, Tempe, AZ 85287-2602.


Adults with disabilities who have completed rehabilitation programs and have returned to active lifestyles are experts on the importance of motivation after an injury or an illness. This qualitative descriptive study was conducted with 9 men and 3 women who had completed a spinal cord injury rehabilitation program at a rehabilitation hospital. The subjects were asked two questions: What helped motivate you during rehabilitation to return to an active, productive life? and How did rehabilitation nurses and staff assist you with that process? An analysis of the interviews revealed five motivational categories—independence, education, socialization, self-esteem, and realization—within the specific themes of nursing and healthcare interventions. Gaining insight into the motivation of adults who have coped with disabilities effectively can help rehabilitation nurses determine how they can promote the motivation that clients need to achieve a quality lifestyle.