A qualitative investigation of the healthcare challenges of women with disabilities in Yogyakarta (Indonesia): Implication for health policy
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Health Sciences
Women with disabilities remain a marginalized group. There are no studies currently that specifically investigate health care services as they are accessed by this group in Indonesia. For policy-makers there is, therefore, a gap in vital information. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of nine women with disabilities aged 18 years and older in accessing healthcare services; to find out what the impact is of their disabilities on utilisation of healthcare services; and to enquire how information regarding healthcare utilization can be used to identify problems with healthcare services in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
To capture the data, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit women’s understandings of the description and construction of disabilities and healthcare services in the Yogyakarta region of Indonesia. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis. This process sought to categorise meanings underpinning participants’ experiences, which were then drawn together as eight key themes that highlighted inadequate healthcare system and services, stereotyping and stigma regarding disabilities from healthcare personnel and from society, barriers and challenges leading to exclusiveness, and positive image and selfempowerment of women with disabilities.
The findings support previous studies finding that women with disabilities are still marginalized in terms of access to healthcare services. It confirmed that negative impressions within society did not impede their ability to be independent. Participants who accepted their disabilities and received family support faced the economic, productivity, economic, education, and health challenges, compensating through personal achievements. This study recognized the challenges faced by women with disabilities in accessing healthcare services and described how they manage these challenges. Government facilitation toward healthcare services for disabilities is found to be wanting but showed some progress with the development of new programs enhanced by the meaningful involvement of disabled people’s organizations.
The study concluded that women with disabilities must be actively involved in strategic efforts to mainstream people with disabilities and participate in the creation of policies. Further, the public’s perceptions of disability, as a concept requires investment in public education to adjust society’s behaviour toward people with disabilities. Also, the research urges the government to facilitate participation through improving access to the healthcare environment.