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Data that estimate international prevalence of disability are sparse. In the United States, estimates of the prevalence of persons with disability range from 3% to 20% of the population.1Although some national level data are collected on disability, surveillance data are not collected routinely by most American state health departments. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between disability and access to health care using existing surveillance data. Ultimately, understanding these associations should assist public health officials to implement more effective, accessible, and acceptable public health intervention programmes to persons with disability.
Three special area random digit dialled telephone surveys were conducted in Missouri State from 1995 through 1997. Surveys and subject selection were based on the methods of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a health survey supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our outcome variable was disability status, based on a standard BRFSS question “are you limited in any way, in any activity, because of any impairment or health problem?” This question has been found to be reliable in disability …
Funding: this work was supported, in part, by a cooperative agreement from the Missouri Department of Health to the University of Missouri-Columbia, Washington University, and Saint Louis University.
Conflicts of interest: none.