“It Gives Me My Freedom”: Technology and Responding to Bodily Limitations in Motor Neuron Disease

  • Amanda Pavey, Narelle Warren, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • Medical Anthropology, June 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/01459740.2015.1035782

What is it about?

People living with motor neuron disease (MND) experience profound and rapidly progressing impairment. In order to maintain their physical and social functioning, people may employ a range of technologies and technological aids to enhance their life and maintain well-being. We explored the experiences of 42 men and women who had been diagnosed with MND. Although many participants initially resisted the adoption of aids (often-electronic devices that enabled continued participation in daily life) or tools, such technologies offered a way for people with MND to overcome, to some extent, the limitations posed by their physical degeneration. Through generating a sense of ‘normality,’ these kinds of ‘enabling’ technologies promoted social engagement and the maintenance of valued relationships or activities. Technologies can provide people with MND with some positive experiences. Keywords body auxiliaries, enabling technologies, motor neuron disease, phenomenology, wellbeing

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson