WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Disability in poorly resourced areas of the Western Cape, South Africa
Jennifer Margaret Jelsma

Last modified: 2013-06-10


Disability in poorly resourced areas of the Western Cape

Soraya Maart

Jennifer Jelsma

Division of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town



A  community based survey of disability was undertaken in some of the least resourced areas of Cape Town to investigate the impact and causes of disability within these areas. This paper will present preliminary results of the most common types of disability reported.


In order for authorities to equitably distribute resources, the burden of disability across the different types of impairment needs to be established. This study set out to document the prevalence of the different types of self-reported impairment.


Cluster sampling was used to identify 1000 households that were proportionally representative of those living in brick houses, in back yards and in informal settlements. The head of the household was interviewed and asked to identify whether there were any people with disabilities living within the household. Those identified as having disabilities or their proxies were then interviewed.


Validated questions were used to screen for disability and self-reported causes of disability were recorded..


Descriptive statistics were used to describe the frequency of disability and non-parametric test were used to identify any differences in presentation between males and females and at different ages.


Final results will be presented at the conference. At the time of submission of the abstract, preliminary results were available for 750 households had been visited and 110 people were identified with disability.


The relative prevalence of the different types of disability will be discussed. The implications of the age and gender of the respondents reporting disability will also be discussed.


Information gained can be used to inform the deployment of appropriate rehabilitation personnel to the areas under study.

Key words

Epidemiology, prevalence of disability.


Funding was received from the EuroQol Foundation, the National Research Foundation and the Research Committee of the University of Cape Town.



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