A study of quality of life and economic dependency in physically disabled population in a rural area

P. R. Thirumalai Kumar


Background: Human life is enriched by mechanical, recreational and innovative activities performed by an individual. Disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and the society in which he or she lives. Quality of life is defined by a subjective evaluation of the life circumstances of an individual with respect to his/her values. The objective of the study was to study the prevalence of physical disability and their economic dependence and quality of life in Orathur rural population.

Methods: Data was collected by house to house survey of rural population, Orathur, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu through pre structured questionnaire and clinical examination .The tools used include interview schedule and sickness impact profile (SIP) scale with modification. Data was analyzed statistically.

Results: A total of 4508 population were surveyed in this study to find out the prevalence of disability and burden of disability. Totally 308 physically disabled persons were identified (6.8% prevalence rate). It was found that visual disability was most common disability. Economic dependency and impact on quality of life was found to be more in visual disability than other types of disability. Information on extent of impact of disabilities is required to formulate future policies aiming at improving quality of life of disabled people and making them economically independent.

Conclusions: Visual disability was the most prevalent disability in the present study and Cataract being the leading cause. Vocational rehabilitation measures specifically for rural disabled people should be initiated by government and non governmental agencies to improve the economic status.


Disability, Prevalence, Degree of disability, Quality of life, Economic dependency

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