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An investigation into the incidence of physical handicap in the Aylesbury district

Public Health
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0033-3506(67)80181-1
  • Design
  • Medicine


Summary The records of hospitals in the Aylesbury group were examined in order to determine the number of patients admitted for physical handicap likely to be of long duration; and with particular reference to those patients whose disabilities might be lessened by modifications of housing and furniture. The total population served by the group is 144,000. All the patients who were admitted for disabling conditions during the period January 1st — June 30th, 1964, and who were resident in the area were included. The sample consisted of 468 patients or 3 per 1,000 of the population served during the 6 months, all of whom required hospital admission for their handicap. The patients were divided into two main groups. The first group of 120 patients had disabilities of sudden onset. These were the cases of injury, cardiovascular accident or surgery for malignant disease, e.g. colostomy. They represent handicaps occuring at the rate of 0.8 per 1,000 of the population during the 6 months. The second group of patients were suffering from handicaps of insidious onset. Many of these patients shared a few common difficulties in their home, i.e. difficulties with heavy equipment, bending, lifting and manual strength, inability to climb stairs and ladders and to walk distances. These difficulties are also shared in some degree by most of the healthy aged members of the population, whose needs are very similar. This suggests that where modification in the design of buildings and domestic equipment for the general population need to be introduced, the requirements of the severely handicapped minority could be largely supplied by introducing the same changes which the normally ageing need for adaption of their homes.

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