Barriers and facilitators to societal participation of people with disabilities: A scoping review of studies concerning European countries

Elisabeth Hästbacka, Mikael Nygård, Fredrica Nyqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
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The aim of this scoping review is to explore previous scientific studies relating to the scholarly understanding of societal participation of people with disabilities. Six relevant databases within social science were searched using societal participation of people with disabilities, or different combinations thereof, as search words. The criteria for inclusion were: working-age people with disabilities; societal participation; accounting for facilitators or/and barriers of participation; geographical focus on or link to Europe, peer-reviewed studies using quantitative or qualitative methods published in English between January 2012 and December 2013.Thirty-two studies met these inclusion criteria. Each study was analysed relating to four measures: identity of the participator group, type of participation; type of facilitators; type of barriers. The findings show that there is a dominating focus on labour market participation and that societal participation was studied mostly concerning disabled people in general instead of any specific group. The main barriers identified were related to financial factors, attitudes, health issues and unemployment. The most frequently identified facilitators were related to legislation and disability policies, as well as to support from people in close contact with disabled people, attitudes in society and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)201–220
JournalAlter: European Journal of Disability Research / Alter: Journal Européen de Recherche sur le Handicap
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Disabled people
  • Societal participation
  • Barrier properties
  • Facilitator
  • Scoping review

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