Special Issue "Disability and Public Health"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2015)
Dr. Carla Sabariego
Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (IBE), Chair for Public Health and Health Services Research, Research Unit for Biopsychosocial Health, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Marchioninistr. 17, 81377 Munich, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF); Public Health and Public Mental Health; Disability; Health and Disability Surveys; Health Economics
Prof. Dr. Jerome E. Bickenbach
Disability Policy Unit, Swiss Paraplegic Research, Guido A. Zäch-Strasse 4, 6207 Nottwil, Switzerland
People with disabilities comprise approximately 15% of the population. These are people with impairments, such as visual impairment and low back pain, and health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, depression and schizophrenia. This percentage is expected to increase, in part because of the world-wide ageing population and the increase of chronic health conditions.
People with disabilities often experience lower levels of health due to primary and secondary health conditions and comorbidities and also for being socially marginalised and suffering the health risks associated with social disadvantage. Nonetheless, public health has not always taken the needs of people with disabilities into account, and the time has come to change this.
Public health interventions need to reach people with disabilities for at least two reasons. First, people with disabilities are at higher risk of further health deterioration; and secondly because they have the human right to the full range of health services, including prevention and health promotion programmes, on an equal basis with others. This right is stated in Article 25 of in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Beyond planning, implementing and evaluating interventions, another core activity of public health is to track the health, population characteristics and health determinants of populations. Here again, public health has neglected the needs of persons with disabilities. In part, this is due to the fact that disability is a complex and multidimensional experience that poses many challenges for description and measurement. Data about all dimensions of disability—information about impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, and the environmental factors that facilitate or hinder full participation—are essential to understand how disability plays out in peoples’ lives and to identify the determinants of increased disability. It is necessary to examine the entirety of the disability experience, however, in order to understand the impact of disability on peoples’ lives and determine the appropriate public health response.
This Special Issue wishes to make the point that disability is a public health issue of increasing importance. It is open to submissions describing approaches to public health data collection that target disability, as well as those concerning public health interventions that address the challenges that disability poses for public health. Papers that address both topics from an economic or policy perspective are very welcome.
Prof. Dr. Alarcos Cieza
Dr. Carla Sabariego
Prof. Dr. Jerome E. Bickenbach
Manuscript Submission Information
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