DHA announces results of survey on prevalence of functional disabilities among adults in Dubai

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority announced today key statistical results revealing the prevalence of functional disabilities in Dubai. The results, which are part of the Dubai Household Health Survey, highlight the percentage of people in Dubai who have any kind of functional disability. The survey was based on interviews of 5,000 respondents in Dubai and was jointly conducted by the DHA and the Dubai Statistics Centre Functional disability means a physical or mental impairment that limits the extent to which an individual can care for himself or herself. Usually some personal care tasks can be accomplished with or without assistance.

Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA said, “The results provide a detailed breakdown of the percentage of people with any kind of functional disability in the Emirate of Dubai. The survey is extremely comprehensive and has taken into account various factors such as age, gender, nationality, income bracket and other parameters that will eventually help us formulate our public health policies to better cater to the needs of these people.

“We strongly believe in the importance of this survey, which is the most comprehensive health survey that has been conducted in Dubai and we have been analysing the data collected to look into all microscopic aspects of health and healthcare in the Emirate.” She said the DHA previously provided data on the percentage of the population that exercises in Dubai, percentage of smokers, hypertensive population and the percentage of the population that is prone to the risk developing cardiovascular diseases.

Al Jassmi noted, “This aspect of the survey focuses on the extent of functional disabilities experienced by the respondents. The questions were based on the extent of difficulty faced while completing their day-to-day tasks and they included asking respondents how much difficulty they faced while moving around the house, while undertaking basic self-care tasks such as bathing etc, the extent of bodily pain and aches they experienced, any difficulty with concentration, remembering things, sleep problems and whether they felt sad or depressed. The survey also included questions on vision and whether respondents wore glasses or lenses and the extend to which they faced difficulty in seeing and recognizing a person they know from a distance of about 20 meters.

Dr. Amal Salim Al Halyan, Senior Research Specialist, Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA said: “The survey showed that there is a direct link between chronic diseases and functional disabilities. In people with one or more chronic disease the extent of functional disabilities is higher. Similarly there is a direct link between education and functional disabilities.” Highlighting key findings of the survey, she said that almost 1 in 5 people in Dubai reported having functional disabilities where men reported more functional disabilities (20.1%) than women (13.8%).

People are significantly prone to face more functional disabilities as they grow older; especially the above 60 years age group (43.6%).

Another high risk group which faces more functional disabilities is the group of people diagnosed with one chronic condition (38.8%) or more than one chronic condition (50.8%); both groups significantly report more severe forms of functional disabilities than people with no diagnosis of chronic condition (14.4%).

Divorcees, widows and widowers reported more severe functional disabilities (37.3%) than married (19.7%) or single people (13.4%). Also retired people or those who are unable to work due to medical problems reported more functional disabilities(51.2%).

People in the 2nd (13.6%) and 5th (13.1%) highest income quintiles, significantly report more functional disabilities than any other income groups.

There is a significantly strong relationship between people reporting functional difficulties and their education levels: individuals with higher education report less functional disabilities as compared to those who have lower education levels or are uneducated.

Pointing out key findings in UAE nationals, she said about 1 in 5 individuals living in Dubai reported functional disabilities. Women reported more severe functional disabilities (23.7%) as compared to men (17.3%).

UAE Nationals are prone to face more functional disabilities as they grow older; especially the 60+ age group(48.1%). The individuals diagnosed with one chronic condition (30.9%) or more than one chronic condition (52.1%); significantly reported more severe functional disabilities than people with no diagnosis of chronic conditions. (11.3%).

Divorcees, widows and widowers reported more severe functional disabilities (46.9%) than married (21%) or single people (7.3%). Also retired UAE Nationals or those who are unable to work due to medical problems reported more functional disabilities (48.9%).

UAE Nationals in the 2nd (23%) and 5th highest (17.5%) income quintiles significantly reported more functional disabilities than any other income groups.

There is a significantly strong relationship between people reporting functional difficulties and their education levels: individuals with higher education reported less functional disabilities as compared to those who have lower education levels or are uneducated.

Leave a Reply