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      A Systematic Review of Access to Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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          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 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.

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          Poverty and disability in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review

          Introduction Disability and poverty are believed to operate in a cycle, with each reinforcing the other. While agreement on the existence of a link is strong, robust empirical evidence substantiating and describing this potential association is lacking. Consequently, a systematic review was undertaken to explore the relationship between disability and economic poverty, with a focus on the situation in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Methods Ten electronic databases were searched to retrieve studies of any epidemiological design, published between 1990-March 2016 with data comparing the level of poverty between people with and without disabilities in LMICs (World Bank classifications). Poverty was defined using economic measures (e.g. assets, income), while disability included both broad assessments (e.g. self-reported functional or activity limitations) and specific impairments/disorders. Data extracted included: measures of association between disability and poverty, population characteristics and study characteristics. Proportions of studies finding positive, negative, null or mixed associations between poverty and disability were then disaggregated by population and study characteristics. Results From the 15,500 records retrieved and screened, 150 studies were included in the final sample. Almost half of included studies were conducted in China, India or Brazil (n = 70, 47%). Most studies were cross-sectional in design (n = 124, 83%), focussed on specific impairment types (n = 115, 77%) and used income as the measure for economic poverty (n = 82, 55%). 122 studies (81%) found evidence of a positive association between disability and a poverty marker. This relationship persisted when results were disaggregated by gender, measure of poverty used and impairment types. By country income group at the time of data collection, the proportion of country-level analyses with a positive association increased with the rising income level, with 59% of low-income, 67% of lower-middle and 72% of upper-middle income countries finding a positive relationship. By age group, the proportion of studies reporting a positive association between disability and poverty was lowest for older adults and highest for working-age adults (69% vs. 86%). Conclusions There is strong evidence for a link between disability and poverty in LMICs and an urgent need for further research and programmatic/policy action to break the cycle.
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            Global Prevalence of Presbyopia and Vision Impairment from Uncorrected Presbyopia

            Presbyopia prevalence and spectacle-correction coverage were estimated by systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic evidence, then modeled to expand to country, region, and global estimates.
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              Disability and treatment of specific mental and physical disorders across the world.

              Advocates of expanded mental health treatment assert that mental disorders are as disabling as physical disorders, but little evidence supports this assertion. To establish the disability and treatment of specific mental and physical disorders in high-income and low- and middle-income countries. Community epidemiological surveys were administered in 15 countries through the World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative. Respondents in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries attributed higher disability to mental disorders than to the commonly occurring physical disorders included in the surveys. This pattern held for all disorders and also for treated disorders. Disaggregation showed that the higher disability of mental than physical disorders was limited to disability in social and personal role functioning, whereas disability in productive role functioning was generally comparable for mental and physical disorders. Despite often higher disability, mental disorders are under-treated compared with physical disorders in both high-income and in low- and middle-income countries.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                02 October 2018
                October 2018
                : 15
                : 10
                Affiliations
                International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London WC1 E7HT, UK; Sarah.Wallace1@ 123456lshtm.ac.uk (S.W.); hannah.kuper@ 123456lshtm.ac.uk (H.K.)
                Author notes
                Article
                ijerph-15-02165
                10.3390/ijerph15102165
                6210163
                30279358
                e09342b6-d18a-4789-af34-c13f66a4bd8c
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                Public health
                access,health care,rehabilitation,people with disabilities,low- and middle-income country,universal health coverage

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