Prevalence of disability among adults using Rapid Assessment of Disability tool in a rural district of South India

Srikrishna Sulgodu Ramachandra, M.P.H., M.D., Komal Preet Allagh, M.P.H., Hemanth Kumar, M.P.H.,Nathan Grills, D.Phil., D.P.H., Manjula Marella, Ph.D., Hira Pant, M.A., D. Mahesh, B.E., Fairlene Soji, M.A.,Srinivasan Mani, M.Phil., M.S.W., G.V.S. Murthy, M.Sc., M.D.

Disability and Health Journal, Volume 9, Issue 4
Published online: June 06, 2016


There are different estimates of disability prevalence reported in India due to the differences in definitions and methodologies. Reliable data is needed to plan effective disability inclusive strategies.


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with disability among adults ≥18 years of age in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh using the Rapid Assessment of Disability (RAD) tool.


The RAD survey was conducted in 50 villages (clusters) of Ongole division of Prakasam district. A two-stage cluster random sampling was used. Within each village 80 participants were surveyed. Compact segment sampling was used to determine the houses included. A person was reported as disabled based on their responses to the functioning section of the RAD tool.


A total of 4134 adults were included. The overall prevalence of disability was 10.4% (431 adults). The highest prevalence of functional impairment was related to mobility (4.7%) followed by vision (2.1%) and fine motor (1.8%). The prevalence of psychological distress was 2.3%. Disability was significantly more prevalent in the poor socio economic group (OR 2.8; 95% CI: 1.5; 5.0) and among unemployed (OR 3.6; 95% CI: 2.3, 5.5). The prevalence of disability was strongly associated with age where, participants aged 70 years and over were eleven times more likely to report disability than younger age groups.


The high prevalence of disability in the region points to disability being of public health concern and as a health condition needing urgent attention and specific interventions.