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Towards comparability of data: Using the ICF to map the contrasting definitions of disability in Irish surveys and census, 2000-2006


O'Donovan, Mary-Ann; Good, Anne


k. A.


Disability and Rehabilitation, 2010, Volume 32 (Supplement 1), Seite s9-s16, London: Informa Healthcare, ISSN: 0963-8288 (Print); 1464-5165 (Online)





To examine how disability was measured and understood within Irish data sources 2000-2006, using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a guiding framework for a more comprehensive and transformative definition of disability.


During the EU-funded Measuring Health and Disability in Europe (MHADIE) project (2003-2006), an audit of data sources which included a disability identifier question was conducted. Thirty Irish data sources were examined in total. An overview of these data sources was provided in 'Disability Data Sources in Ireland' (National Disability Authority, unpublished, 2007). Using guidelines developed by Cieza et al. (J Rehabil Med 2002;34:205-210, J Rehabil Med 2002;27:212-218) five data sources were selected for detailed examination and were mapped to the ICF. These were the census (2006), National Disability Survey (2006), National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (2006), Survey of Lifestyles, Attitudes and Nutrition (2002), Euro Student Survey (2003). Subsequent work conducted after the completion of the MHADIE project added to the findings.

Results and conclusions:

The environmental dimension of disability dominated the data collection exercises which used the ICF as their framework-for the National Disability Survey (NDS) and the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD). Both also had strong focus on activity and participation. When mapped on to the ICF, the data sources which preceded the ICF or did not use it, are shown to focus more on activity and participation data than any other ICF component. Across the five selected data sources, limited information was collected on body function and body structure.

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Disability and Rehabilitation

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Informationsstand: 11.03.2011

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