Researchers at The University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabilities and the University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living developed the Living Well with a Disability program in collaboration with centers for independent living and their consumers. The program is the culmination of twenty years of research and program development aimed at reducing the severity and incidence of secondary conditions. A secondary condition occurs when a person with a disability develops a complication related to his or her impairment. Secondary conditions can include psychological conditions, such as depression, and physical limitations, such as pressure sores.
Program evaluation reveals that Living Well workshop graduates report less limitation from secondary conditions, fewer unhealthy days and less health care utilization. Ongoing research shows that people with disabilities can manage and even prevent the negative effects of secondary conditions through health promotion activities (Ravesloot et al. 2007).