That Sinking Feeling: People with Disabilities in Hospital Wards

Noa Tal-Alon, Nitsan Almog, Michal Tenne Rinde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the experiences of people with disabilities in general hospitals. Specifically, we identified and analysed the barriers and difficulties that people with disabilities face while hospitalised. Using qualitative methods, our findings were based on a combination of in-depth interviews and a focus group with twenty inpatients in total. Three major barriers to proper care arose from the transcripts: inaccessibility, practitioners’ lack of medical knowledge, and negative stereotypes. While some of the findings reinforce existing knowledge about barriers faced by people with disabilities, some address barriers that have not yet been investigated with qualitative instruments, such as lack of specific medical knowledge. In addition, the findings suggest the need to refer separately to physical and service accessibility, the latter including human service and communication. Practical recommendations include the need to upgrade healthcare accessibility regulations and ways to help people with disabilities receive equal health services during hospitalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-105
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Disability and Social Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Pluto Journals. All rights reserved.


  • accessibility
  • hospital wards
  • medical knowledge
  • People with disabilities
  • stigma


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