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Health Care for Adults with Special Needs

Background and aims

A secondary analysis of the Swiss health survey 2002
An increase in chronic progressive illnesses, disabilities and multi-morbidity can be observed in most of today's western services and industrial societies. As a result of this development, there is also a growing demand for knowledge about the specific needs of adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Up till now, however, there is little known about health care and the needs of people with a disability in Switzerland. At the same time, there is a need for co-ordination and improvement of the medical treatment and care of people with disabilities.


This project features a secondary quantitative analysis of the demand for medical care by people with disabilities. It is based on the data of the Swiss Health Survey (2002). In particular, the following central issues were investigated:

  1. How often do people with disabilities take advantage of medical care within one year? What sort of care is it (outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, Spitex services)
  2. What is the immediate cause of the demand for care (illness/accident, check-up, advice)?
  3. What factors influence the claim (age, sex, type of disability, general health, behaviour relating to health, social network)?
  4. In what ways do people with disabilities differ from people without disabilities as regards entitlement to medical care?
  5. Is there any evidence of inadequate medical provision for people with disabilities?
  6. To what extent do people with (primarily) physical disabilities differ from people with (primarily) psychological disabilities as regards the issues (1) to (5)?

The target group is adults with a chronic illness or disability. On the basis of the survey, a distinction must be made between people with primary psychological, primary physical or a co-morbidity of physical and psychological disabilities.


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