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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


VAN DER WESTHUIZEN, Yolanda; HESS-APRIL, Lucia  and  WEGNER, Lisa. Rediscovering identity through leisure travel: Lived experiences of persons with disabilities. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2022, vol.52, n.1, pp.56-67. ISSN 2310-3833.

INTRODUCTION: Travelogues for non-disabled travellers state that travelling offers an opportunity for constructing new identities. This meaning ascribed to travelling led the researcher to pose the question: What is the lived experience of travelling for people with disabilities? The objectives of this study were to describe and explore the experiences of travelling for people with disabilities, how they make sense of their experiences of travelling, and the meaning that travelling holds for them. The theoretical framework for the study is the Person-Environment-Occupation Model and the Model of Human OccupationMETHOD: A qualitative, hermeneutical phenomenological research design was utilised. Through purposive sampling, six participants were selected and then interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was applied to analyse dataRESULTS: Three themes emerged, namely: A Double-edged sword, which highlights the contradictory effects of travelling, followed by People are part of the package, which emphasises the participants' interpretations of the role that society plays in disability, and lastly the Pilgrimage to self-discovery, as travelling offers the means to rediscovery of selfCONCLUSION: The study provides insight into how travelling, as a leisure occupation, facilitated discovery of a new identity for people with disabilities

Keywords : hermeneutic phenomenology; leisure travelling; occupational identity; occupational performance; occupational being; Person-Environment-Occupation Model; Model of Human Occupation MOHO.

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