The definition of disability had been unclear until the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health was promulgated in 2001 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Disability is a critical but relati vely neglectedpublic-health concern. We conducted this study to measure disabilities by using the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) and identify the factors that contribute to disabilities. We obtained and analyzed the data on people who applied to Taiwan’s disability registration system between September 2012 and August 2013. A total of 158,174 cases were selected for this study. Among the people included in this study, 53% were male, and the females were on average 3 years older than the males. More males than females were of a low socioeconomic status, but the rate of employment was higher among the males than among the females. Age, sex, place of residence, and types and severity of impairment were all determined to be factors that independently contributed to disability. This study has demonstrated that disability can be measured and compared using WHODAS 2.0. Increasing the public-health attention devoted to disability and identifying the factors associated with disability can promote independence and social participation in people with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12148-12161
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 25 2014


  • Disability
  • ICF
  • Impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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