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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 416: Which Environmental Factors Have the Highest Impact on the Performance of People Experiencing Difficulties in Capacity?

12 Apr 2016

Disability is understood by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the outcome of the interaction between a health condition and personal and environmental factors. Comprehensive data about environmental factors is therefore essential to understand and influence disability. We aimed to identify which environmental factors have the highest impact on the performance of people with mild, moderate and severe difficulties in capacity, who are at risk of experiencing disability to different extents, using data from a pilot study of the WHO Model Disability Survey in Cambodia and random forest regression. Hindering or facilitating aspects of places to socialize in community activities, transportation and natural environment as well as use and need of personal assistance and use of medication on a regular basis were the most important environmental factors across groups. Hindering or facilitating aspects of the general environment were the most relevant in persons experiencing mild levels of difficulties in capacity, while social support, attitudes of others and use of medication on a regular basis were highly relevant for the performance of persons experiencing moderate to higher levels of difficulties in capacity. Additionally, we corroborate the high importance of the use and need of assistive devices for people with severe difficulties in capacity.

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