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BMJ Glob Health ; 7(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662312


INTRODUCTION: To improve access to assistive products (APs) globally, data must be available to inform evidence-based decision-making, policy development and evaluation, and market-shaping interventions. METHODS: This systematic review was undertaken to identify studies presenting population-based estimates of need and coverage for five APs (hearing aids, limb prostheses, wheelchairs, glasses and personal digital assistants) grouped by four functional domains (hearing, mobility, vision and cognition). RESULTS: Data including 656 AP access indicators were extracted from 207 studies, most of which (n=199, 96%) were cross-sectional, either collecting primary (n=167) or using secondary (n=32) data. There was considerable heterogeneity in assessment approaches used and how AP indicators were reported; over half (n=110) used a combination of clinical and self-reported assessment data. Of 35 studies reporting AP use out of all people with functional difficulty in the corresponding functional domains, the proportions ranged from 4.5% to 47.0% for hearing aids, from 0.9% to 17.6% for mobility devices, and from 0.1% to 86.6% for near and distance glasses. Studies reporting AP need indicators demonstrated >60% unmet need for each of the five APs in most settings. CONCLUSION: Variation in definitions of indicators of AP access have likely led to overestimates/underestimates of need and coverage, particularly, where the relationship between functioning difficulty and the need for an AP is complex. This review demonstrates high unmet need for APs globally, due in part to disparate data across this sector, and emphasises the need to standardise AP data collection and reporting strategies to provide a comparable evidence base to improve access to APs.

Self-Help Devices , Humans
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(13)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295822


This analysis of surveys from six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) aimed to (i) estimate the prevalence of disability among older adults and (ii) compare experiences and participation in key life areas among older people with and without disabilities which may show vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were analysed from district-level or national surveys in Cameroon, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Nepal and the Maldives, which across the six databases totalled 3499 participants aged 60 years and above including 691 people with disabilities. Disability was common among adults 60+, ranging from 9.7% (8.0-11.8) in Nepal to 39.2% in India (95% CI 34.1-44.5%). Mobility was the most commonly reported functional difficulty. In each setting, older people with disabilities were significantly less likely to be working and reported greater participation restrictions and environmental barriers in key life areas compared to people in the same age categories without disabilities (p < 0.05). Disability is common in this population, and older people with disabilities may have greater difficulties participating in COVID-19 responses and have high economic vulnerabilities. It is imperative to prioritise the needs of older people with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring accessibility of both health services and the community in general.

COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Aged , Cameroon , Developing Countries , Guatemala , Haiti , Humans , India/epidemiology , Indian Ocean Islands , Nepal/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Glob Health Action ; 14(1): 1903214, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203508


If Sustainable Developmental Goal 3 and Universal Health Coverage are to be achieved, functioning is a third health indicator which must be assessed and integrated into global health population-based metrics alongside mortality and morbidity. In this paper, we define functioning according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and present why functioning is important to measure, especially when considering the need for, and outcome of, rehabilitation and assistive technology. We discuss examples of tools that measure components of functioning through clinical assessment and self-report methodologies, and present the development of a comprehensive population level tool which aligns with the ICF and combines self-report and clinical measurement methods to measure functioning and the need for rehabilitation and AT. Throughout the paper a survivor of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is given as an example to illustrate functioning according to the ICF and how access to the interventions of rehabilitation and assistive technology might be of benefit to improve and optimise his/her functioning. We argue that the Global Health community must take action and ensure that the measurement of functioning is well established, accepted and integrated as the third health indicator following the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Coronavirus , Disabled Persons , Disability Evaluation , Female , Goals , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Survivors , Sustainable Development , Universal Health Insurance