DOI: 10.12924/si2013.01010037 |Publication Date: 12 August 2013

Disability and Health: A Research Agenda

Hasheem Mannan 1, 2, * and Malcolm MacLachlan 2, 3
1 Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2 Centre for Global Health & School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
3 Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
* Corresponding author
Abstract: Disability is not a 'health problem'; however some people with disabilities do have increased health needs, and all people with disabilities have the same right to access health services as others. The number of people living with disabilities is increasing, due partly to increasing numbers of people living with the consequences of chronic communicable and non-communicable diseases. Based on recommendations of the World Report on Disability, which provides the parameters for research, this paper sets out a research agenda calling for a considerable research programme on social, civil, and economic impacts of living with disability, arising from whatever cause, including communicable and non-communicable diseases; signific­ant global health policy revisions; identification of constraints and facilitators in access to healthcare for people with disabilities; development of a robust evidence base for implementing the new guidelines on community-based rehabilitation; innovations in addressing human re­source challenges faced by disability and rehabilitation service-providers; development of en­abling technologies that focus on individuals' aspirations and social gain; preparedness for responding to the needs of people with disabilities in disaster situations; and the application of disability metrics to strengthen health systems.

Keywords: disability; health metrics; health policy; public health; research agenda


2012 - 2020 by the authors; licensee Librello, Switzerland. This open access article was published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (