Impact of inaccessible spaces on community participation of people with mobility limitations in Zambia
PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to describe the preliminary development and validation of a potential measure for assessing the accessibility of the built environment in Zambia. It was designed to identify environmental features that present barriers to participation for people with mobility limitations (PWML) using mobility devices such as wheelchairs or crutches. METHOD The Participation-Based Environment Accessibility Assessment Tool (P-BEAAT) was developed through focus group discussions and personal interviews with 88 PWML from five provinces of Zambia regarding the accessibility of their built environment. The content validity of the P-BEAAT checklist was accomplished through three phases of development with data gathered from 11 focus groups and nine personal interviews. RESULTS Participants described accessibility barriers which affect their participation in daily life. This information generated the P-BEAAT with 66 items describing eight environmental features with potential for identifying environmental barriers. The P-BEAAT has shown good homogeneity with Cronbach's α score of 0.91. CONCLUSION The P-BEAAT was constructed grounded in the reality of people's experiences in Zambia for use in assessing environmental features important in the participation of daily life of PWML pertinent to developing countries. Further clinimetric testing of the properties of the P-BEAAT to establish reliability should be conducted next.