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Health Promotion Interests of Women with Disabilities

Smeltzer Suzanne C.; Zimmerman, Vanessa L.
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: April 2005
Health Promotion Interests of Women with Disabilities: PDF Only


The number of women with disabilities (WWD) in the United States is substantial and growing. Health promotion education can play a key role in the achievement of optimal health and well-being for this population. A preliminary step in planning educational programs is to identify health promotion topics of interest to this target population. This study surveyed WWD about their interest in health promotion topics and compared their interests by demographic characteristics (i.e., age, employment status, ethnic group, type of disabling condition, and level of disability). The sample population, comprising 604 women with a variety of disabilities, completed a written or online survey. Topic of interest selected were tallied and ranked by order of interest. Topics ranking highest in interest and selected by at least half of the WWD were aging with a disability, stress management, exercise, nutrition, overview of health promotion, and maintaining mental health. Significant health issues not identified included smoking cessation, pregnancy, and osteoporosis. If healthcare providers are aware of the topics that interest WWD, they can better develop educational programs to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Suzanne C. Smeltzer, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085, or e-mail

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD RN FAAN, is a professor and project director of the Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project conducted at Villanova University College of Nursing, Villanova, PA. Vanessa L. Zimmerman, MSN RN, is an administrative research associate of the Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project at Villanova University College of Nursing.

© 2005 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses