Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 5, 2017

The role of the World Bank and WHO Model Disability Survey in public health

Die Rolle des „Model Disability Survey” der Weltgesundheitsorganisation und Weltbank in Public Health
Carla Sabariego
From the journal Public Health Forum


The Model Disability Survey (MDS) is the tool recommended by the world health organization (WHO) to collect data on disability at the population level. It consciously promotes a narrative of inclusion, as disability is understood as a continuum, ranging from low to high levels. Public health currently faces the challenge of responding to demographic and health shifts leading to an increase in disability in the population. The MDS provides the information needed to meet these challenges and develop targeted public health interventions.


Der „Model Disability Survey” (MDS) wird von der WHO empfohlen, um Daten über Behinderung auf Bevölkerungsniveau zu erheben. Er fördert ein inklusives Verständnis von Behinderung als Kontinuum und somit als eine Frage der Ausprägung. Public Health muss derzeit auf demografische und gesundheitliche Veränderungen reagieren, die zu einer Zunahme von Behinderung in der Bevölkerung führen. Der MDS erhebt die notwendigen Daten, um diesen Herausforderungen gerecht zu werden und gezielte Public Health-Maßnahmen zu entwickeln.

Correspondence: PD Dr. Carla Sabariego, MPH, Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology (IBE), Chair for Public Health und Health Services Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, Marchioninistr. 17, 81377 Munich

Author Declaration

  1. Author contributions: The author has accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission. Funding: Author states no funding involved. Conflict of interest: Author states no conflict of interest. Ethical statement: Primary data for human nor for animals were not collected for this research work.


  1. Autorenbeteiligung: Die Autorin trägt Verantwortung für den gesamten Inhalt dieses Artikels und hat der Einreichung des Manuskripts zugestimmt. Finanzierung: Die Autorin erklärt, dass sie keine finanzielle Förderung erhalten hat. Interessenkonflikt: Die Autorin erklärt, dass kein wirtschaftlicher oder persönlicher Interessenkonflikt vorliegt. Ethisches Statement: Für die Forschungsarbeit wurden weder von Menschen noch von Tieren Primärdaten erhoben.


1. World Health Organization, World Bank. 2011. World Report on Disability. World Health Organization, Geneva.Search in Google Scholar

2. United Nations, General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, A/RES/61/106 (24 January 2007), available from: Accessed on 15 September 2017.Search in Google Scholar

3. Coenen M, Sabariego C, Cieza A. Recommendation for the collection and analysis of data on participation and disability from the perspective of the World Health Organization. Bundesgesundhbl. Gesundheitsforsch. Gesundheitsschutz 2016;59:1060–7.Search in Google Scholar

4. WHO. International classification of functioning, disability and health: ICF. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2001.Search in Google Scholar

5. Davies SC, Winpenny E, Ball S, Fowler T, Rubin J, Nolte E. For debate: a new wave in public health improvement. Lancet 2014;384:1889–95.10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62341-7Search in Google Scholar PubMed

6. Murray CJ, Vos T, Lozano R, Naghavi M, Flaxman AD, Michaud C, et al. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2012;380: 2197–223.10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61689-4Search in Google Scholar PubMed

7. Beard JR, Officer A, de Carvalho IA, Sadana R, Pot AM, Michel JP, et al. The World report on ageing and health: a policy framework for healthy ageing. Lancet 2016;387:2145–54.10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00516-4Search in Google Scholar

8. Richards NC, Gouda HN, Durham J, Rampatige R, Rodney A, Whittaker M. Disability, noncommunicable disease and health information. Bull World Health Organ 2016;94:230–2.10.2471/BLT.15.156869Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

9. Stucki G, Bickenbach J. Functioning: the third health indicator in the health system and the key indicator for rehabilitation. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:134–8.10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04565-8Search in Google Scholar PubMed

10. Sabariego C, Oberhauser C, Posarac A, Bickenbach J, Kostanjsek N, Chatterji S, et al. Measuring disability: comparing the impact of two data collection approaches on disability rates. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2015;12:10329–51.10.3390/ijerph120910329Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

Published Online: 2017-12-5
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow