Research Article

Disability as identified from general practice records.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 26 January 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:287
  1. D M Fleming,
  2. C P Elliott-Binns


    Thirty eight doctors who attended a postgraduate educational course provided information about disabled patients identified in a search of 7000 records. Disablement was defined as a major disruption to the normal lifestyle of patients in appropriate age and sex groups. Altogether 242 people were identified as disabled, equivalent to 32 per 1000 population, which is closely similar to that published by Harris, who identified patients by postal questionnaire. Among adults aged 15 to 64 more men were identified than women, and we suggest that a higher rate of disablement might be expected in men. Disablement among women may be underestimated because of underrecognition by doctors of disability in housewives. Fifty two per cent of all disabled people were able to attend the doctor's surgery, and 72% were receiving regular medication; 79% were dependent on relatives, but only 30% were dependent on statutory services. In the opinion of the recording doctors medical and nursing needs were well met, though not the social needs, where the importance of living alone is noteworthy.