Interventions for people with disabilities in low‐and middle‐income countries: evidence and gap map

Added July 16, 2020

Citation: Saran A, White H, Kuper H. Evidence and gap map of studies assessing the effectiveness of interventions for people with disabilities in low‐and middle‐income countries. Campbell Systematic Reviews. 2020;16(1):e1070.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic may worsen disparities in health and socioeconomic outcomes for people with disabilities. Existing research on intervention to help people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries might be useful for policy makers.

In this Campbell evidence and gap map, the authors searched for randomized trials and systematic reviews on the effects of programmes for people with disabilities and their carers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). They did not restrict their searches by language and did the search for articles published between 2000 and January 2018. The evidence and gap map contains 59 systematic reviews and 50 impact evaluations from lower‐middle income countries, 48 from upper‐middle income countries and 9 from low income countries.

What was found: Whilst the evidence base is relatively large, it is unevenly distributed and the quality needs to be improved.

This evidence and gap map provides a starting point for researchers, decision makers and programme managers to access the available research evidence on the effects of interventions for people with disabilities in LMICs. An interactive evidence gap map is available here.

The studies were unevenly distributed across intervention areas. Health is the most heavily populated area of the map (118 of the 166 studies), followed by education (40 studies).

There are relatively few studies for livelihoods and social, and virtually none for empowerment; and very few studies measured access to assistive devices, nutrition or immunisation.

More studies are also needed in rights-based approaches, livelihoods and empowerment; and from low-income settings.


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