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Special Issue "Disability and Global Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Hannah Kuper

International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: disability; health; rehabilitation; low and middle income settings
Guest Editor
Dr. Sarah Polack

International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: disability; health; rehabilitation; surveys; low and middle income settings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There are an estimated one billion people with disabilities, 80% of whom live in low- and middle-income settings. People with disabilities are more likely to be poor, and are also vulnerable to exclusion from education, employment and social participation more generally. Health is also a common concern among people with disabilities, and the relationship between disability and health is complex.

People with disabilities on average are more likely to experience poor health, and so will have higher needs for accessing health care services. These services may be for general healthcare (e.g., vaccination, sexual and reproductive healthcare, or cancer services) or those specifically related to their impairment (e.g., ophthalmology, assistive devices, physiotherapy). Yet, people with disabilities often report experiencing difficulties accessing services, receiving lower-quality services and paying more for healthcare services. Together, this means that people with disabilities are being left behind in terms of improving access to health, which will make achievement of Universal Health Coverage difficult.

This Special Issue is open to any investigation of global health and disability. It will cover a range of different topics, such as inclusive health; access to rehabilitation; universal health coverage and disability; health insurance and disability; equitable quality of care; and preventive care and health promotion for people with disabilities.

We look forward to reading your submissions, and putting together an exciting and impactful Special Issue.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Hannah Kuper
Dr. Sarah Polack
Dr. Carla Sabariego
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • disability
  • global health
  • SDGs
  • universal health coverage
  • access
  • health services

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Adverse Childhood Experiences in Children with Intellectual Disabilities: An Exploratory Case-File Study in Dutch Residential Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102136
Received: 5 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are negative childhood events occurring in a child’s family or social environment, that may cause harm or distress. Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their families are underrepresented in international ACEs research, while current insights can also contribute to
[...] Read more.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are negative childhood events occurring in a child’s family or social environment, that may cause harm or distress. Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their families are underrepresented in international ACEs research, while current insights can also contribute to the improvement of their health and well-being. Deficiencies in intellectual and adaptive functioning and living circumstances can increase their vulnerability to adversities. In the present exploratory study 69 case-files of children referred to a Dutch national center for residential youth care for children with ID were analyzed to assess the prevalence and associations of ACEs. It was found that almost half (49.3%) of the children experienced 2 ACEs from the original ACEs framework or more (M (mean) = 2.1; SD (standard deviation) = 1.8) and that the number of ACEs in children was related to the presence of ACEs in parents. Both child and parental ACEs were also related to attachment- and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Finally, living circumstances and multiple ACEs from the expanded ACEs framework, especially related to parental characteristics, were found to be related to ACEs in children with ID. This implicates the importance of a transgenerational approach when further investigating the impact of ACEs on mental and physical health in children with ID (intellectual disabilities). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Risk of Exclusion in People with Disabilities in Spain: Determinants of Health and Poverty
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102129
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we analyze data from the 2012 Encuesta de Integración Social y Salud (Social Integration and Health Survey) of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spanish National Institute of Statistics) to obtain profiles created by combining disability, poverty and social exclusion. We
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we analyze data from the 2012 Encuesta de Integración Social y Salud (Social Integration and Health Survey) of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spanish National Institute of Statistics) to obtain profiles created by combining disability, poverty and social exclusion. We hypothesize that the probability that people will experience social exclusion increases if they have a disability, chronic illness or limitation in conducting everyday activities, and that this probability is greater for women than for men. To conduct our analysis, we constructed a social exclusion model based on a series of social determinants that acts as a dependent variable. In this context, social exclusion is understood to go beyond the concept of financial poverty. We performed bivariate analyses, in which we calculated the Odds Ratios (OR) for certain variables considered to be predictors of social exclusion. We also performed a means comparison test and an ANOVA test to observe differences between individuals with recognized disability and those without. Finally, we conducted logistic regression analysis to determine which vulnerability profiles are most likely to experience a situation of social exclusion. We also discuss the limitations of our study, and suggest areas in, which the relationships between health, social exclusion and disability can be further investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) Core Sets for Children and Youth with Cerebral Palsy: Global Initiatives Promoting Optimal Functioning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1899; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091899
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Background: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) Core Sets for children and youth with cerebral palsy (CP) offer service providers and stakeholders a specific framework to explore functioning and disability for assessment, treatment, evaluation, and policy purposes in a global
[...] Read more.
Background: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) Core Sets for children and youth with cerebral palsy (CP) offer service providers and stakeholders a specific framework to explore functioning and disability for assessment, treatment, evaluation, and policy purposes in a global context. Objective: Describe global initiatives applying the ICF Core Sets for children and youth with CP, with a focus on contributions to clinical practice and challenges in their implementation. Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. Ongoing initiatives applying the ICF Core Sets for CP in Russia, Poland, Malawi, and Brazil are included. Results: The main contributions of applying the ICF Core Sets for children and youth with CP include: (1) an objective description of abilities and limitations in everyday activities; (2) a consistent identification of facilitators and barriers influencing functioning; (3) a practical communication tool promoting client-centered care and multidisciplinary teamwork; and, (4) a useful guideline for measurement selection. The main challenges of adopting the ICF Core Sets are related to lack of ICF knowledge requiring intense training and translating results from standardized measures into the ICF qualifiers in a consistent way. Conclusions: Global initiatives include research and clinical applications at the program, service and system levels. The ICF Core Sets for CP are useful tools to guide service provision and build profiles of functioning and disability. Global interprofessional collaboration, capacity training, and informatics (e-records) will maximize their applications and accelerate adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Challenges in Accessing Health Care for People with Disability in the South Asian Context: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112366
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
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Abstract
South Asia is a unique geopolitical region covering 3.4% of the world’s surface area and supporting 25% of the world’s population (1.75 billion). Available evidence from South Asia shows variable estimates of the magnitude of disability. The projected magnitude depends on whether an
[...] Read more.
South Asia is a unique geopolitical region covering 3.4% of the world’s surface area and supporting 25% of the world’s population (1.75 billion). Available evidence from South Asia shows variable estimates of the magnitude of disability. The projected magnitude depends on whether an impairment focus is highlighted (approximately 1.6–2.1%) or functionality is given precedence (3.6–15.6%). People with disability (PWD) face significant challenges to accessing health care in the region. Studies show that adults with disability reported a four times higher incidence of a serious health problem in a year’s recall period. Evidence shows a significantly higher rate (17.8%) of hospitalization among PWD compared to others (5%). Chronic conditions like diabetes were also significantly higher. Women with disability had significantly more concerns on reproductive health issues. Studies from the South Asia region reveal that not only did PWD have a higher load of adverse health outcomes but they also faced significantly more barriers in accessing health services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
Open AccessReview A Systematic Review of Access to Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102165
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
PDF Full-text (631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Rehabilitation seeks to optimize functioning of people with impairments and includes a range of specific health services—diagnosis, treatment, surgery, assistive devices, and therapy. Evidence on access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. A systematic
[...] Read more.
Rehabilitation seeks to optimize functioning of people with impairments and includes a range of specific health services—diagnosis, treatment, surgery, assistive devices, and therapy. Evidence on access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. A systematic review was conducted to examine this in depth. In February 2017, six databases were searched for studies measuring access to rehabilitation among people with disabilities in LMICs. Eligible measures of access to rehabilitation included: use of assistive devices, use of specialist health services, and adherence to treatment. Two reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts, and full texts. Data was extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. Of 13,048 screened studies, 77 were eligible for inclusion. These covered a broad geographic area. 17% of studies measured access to hearing-specific services; 22% vision-specific; 31% physical impairment-specific; and 44% measured access to mental impairment-specific services. A further 35% measured access to services for any disability. A diverse range of measures of disability and access were used across studies making comparability difficult. However, there was some evidence that access to rehabilitation is low among people with disabilities. No clear patterns were seen in access by equity measures such as age, locality, socioeconomic status, or country income group due to the limited number of studies measuring these indicators, and the range of measures used. Access to rehabilitation services was highly variable and poorly measured within the studies in the review, but generally shown to be low. Far better metrics are needed, including through clinical assessment, before we have a true appreciation of the population level need for and coverage of these services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
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Open AccessReview A Systematic Review of Access to General Healthcare Services for People with Disabilities in Low and Middle Income Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091879
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: A systematic review was undertaken to explore access to general healthcare services for people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: Six electronic databases were searched in February 2017. Studies comparing access to general healthcare services by people
[...] Read more.
Background: A systematic review was undertaken to explore access to general healthcare services for people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: Six electronic databases were searched in February 2017. Studies comparing access to general healthcare services by people with disabilities to those without disabilities from LMICs were included. Eligible measures of healthcare access included: utilisation, coverage, adherence, expenditure, and quality. Studies measuring disability using self-reported or clinical assessments were eligible. Title, abstract and full-text screening and data extraction was undertaken by the two authors. Results: Searches returned 13,048 studies, of which 50 studies were eligible. Studies were predominantly conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (30%), Latin America (24%), and East Asia/Pacific (12%). 74% of studies used cross-sectional designs and the remaining used case-control designs. There was evidence that utilisation of healthcare services was higher for people with disabilities, and healthcare expenditure was higher. There were less consistent differences between people with and without disabilities in other access measures. However, the wide variation in type and measurement of disability, and access outcomes, made comparisons across studies difficult. Conclusions: Developing common metrics for measuring disability and healthcare access will improve the availability of high quality, comparable data, so that healthcare access for people with disabilities can be monitored and improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
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