Measuring health and disability: supporting policy development (MHADIE), a 3-year project supported by an European Commission Framework six programme Grant, has achieved its aim to demonstrate the feasibility, utility and value of the ICF as a model for harmonising data across populations and sectors in Europe. Such data assist countries in developing realistic, evidence-based and effective social policies for persons with disabilities that will achieve equality of opportunities and full participation.
MHADIE results will facilitate a comprehensive description of disability, an evidence based definition of domains of disability and a baseline reference population for comparisons, thereby increasing the EU capacity of analysis as requested by the EU disability Action Plan 2006-2007. In this way, inequalities can be described and measured by the difference between opportunities for participation of persons with and those without impairments experience. These inequalities represent unmet resource and service needs linked to impairments, including needs created by discriminatory policies and practices. Identification of disability inequalities is also mandated by the recently approved UN Convention for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
By providing a common framework for defining and measuring disability, MHADIE's results will help to improve the accuracy and comparability of estimates of prevalence of impairments and disability Europe-wide. The methodology used and the system developed during the research period have allowed the harmonisation of disparate data sets collected at national and international levels. This has led to an integration of existing statistical information systems across nations, sectors and life span.
For more information, check out the MHADIE website at http://www.mhadie.it/home.aspx. In addition, there are several publications resulting from the MHADIE project that can be found under pubmed link here.