• Print

released: 12 Dec 2003 author: AIHW media release

This report updates and refines prevalence estimates of five main disability groups in Australia - intellectual, psychiatric, sensory/speech, acquired brain injury and physical/diverse. The groups are defined and explained in terms of Australian and international definitions of disability, and of available Australian statistical data.Recent trends in the reported prevalence of disability are critically reviewed and changes in population patterns of disability prevalence in Australia are examined.

ISSN 1444-3589; ISBN 978 1 74024 336 0; Cat. no. DIS 34; 212pp.; Internet only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material (278K PDF)
    • Title page and verso
    • Contents
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
    • Boxes
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
    • Glossary
    • Summary
  • Sections
    1. Introduction (289K PDF)
    2. Defining and estimating disability prevalence
      1. Definition and conceptual approaches
      2. Operational definitions and analytical approaches
      3. Main data sources
      4. The four approaches to prevalence estimates
    3. Intellectual disability
      1. A brief overview of existing definitions and estimates of prevalence
      2. Patterns of prevalence of intellectual disability - a review
      3. Estimates of prevalence of intellectual disability in Australia
      4. Patterns of prevalence of intellectual disability in Australia
    4. Psychiatric disability
      1. A brief overview of existing definitions and estimates of prevalence
      2. Estimates of prevalence of psychiatric disability in Australia
      3. Patterns of psychiatric disability in Australia
    5. Sensory/speech disability (368K PDF)
      1. A brief overview of existing definitions and estimates of prevalence
      2. Estimates of prevalence of sensory/speech disability in Australia
      3. Patterns of prevalence of sensory/speech disability in Australia
    6. 6 Acquired brain injury
      1. A brief overview of existing definitions and estimates of prevalence
      2. Estimates of prevalence of ABI in Australia
      3. Patterns of ABI-related disability in Australia
      4. ABI-related hospital separations in 2000-01
    7. Physical/diverse disability
      1. A brief overview of existing definitions and estimates of prevalence
      2. Prevalence estimates of physical/diverse disability in Australia
      3. Patterns of physical/diverse disability in Australia
    8. Trends in disability prevalence
      1. Introduction
      2. Changes in mortality and morbidity, and their impact on disability
      3. Trends in population patterns of disability prevalence in Australia
  • End matter (344K PDF)
    • Appendixes
      1. Grouping of disabling conditions for estimating main disability groups in Australia, using the 1998 ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers confidentialised unit record file (CURF)
      2. ABS 1998 disability survey questions on activity limitations, participation restrictions and need for assistance
      3. Appendix tables
      4. References

Notes Updates and Corrections

  1. 040329: - Correction made on page 137, Note 1 deleted.
    Full publication (867K PDF)

Recommended citation

AIHW 2003. Disability prevalence and trends. Disability Series. Cat. no. DIS 34. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 30 August 2016 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442467543>.

Request an alternative format

Please contact us if you need information from the website presented in an alternative format for accessibility reasons.