The challenges experienced by people with disabilities as a result of cultural beliefs: a systematic review

  • Morgan Sakala
  • José M. Frantz
  • Anthea Rhoda


Myths, legends, scriptures and folklore, are all part of the cultural belief system that shape our perception of disability which influence the challenges experienced by people with disabilities. This article reviewed literature on influence of cultural beliefs on the challenges experienced by people with disabilities.Twelve library data bases were searched forqualitative research articles and reviewed literatures. Articles wereexamined,analysed and tested for evidence and quality using the Critical Appraisal Skills ProgrammeTool. Of the nine studies included in the review the majority were conducted internationally and across different ethnic groups with diverse cultures.Cultural beliefs were found toinfluence the way thesociety perceives disability, and the accessibility and provision of health services (including rehabilitation). The perceptions of disability by both the disabled individual and their families were influenced by their religious and/or spiritual beliefs. It is important to consider the influences cultural beliefs when providing rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities.


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