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Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem
On-line version ISSN 1518-8345
COSTA, Viviane de Souza Pinho; MELO, Marcia Regina Antonietto Costa; GARANHANI, Mara Lúcia and FUJISAWA, Dirce Shizuko. Social Representations of the Wheelchair for People with Spinal Cord Injury. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [online]. 2010, vol.18, n.4, pp.755-762. ISSN 1518-8345. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-11692010000400014.
In seeking to understand the social representation of the use of the wheelchair through the analysis of interviews with ten people who have suffered spinal cord injury, the construction of five representations was elaborated. The phenomenon experienced regarding the wheelchair provided a route of meanings and symbologies: essential equipment, after the person perceive the inability to walk; a symbol of disability when the person experienced functional dependence; means of locomotion and transport after the rescue of their potential functional; becoming an integral part or all of their body and, finally, the concept of autonomy on four wheels by adjusting to their new ability to walk emerges. The wheelchair as an extension of the modified body for spinal cord injury, returns them the right of locomotion, presents them not only with autonomy for various acts of life, but also restores their dignity, so essential to human life.
Keywords : Spinal Cord Injuries; Wheelchairs; Disable Persons; Locomotion.