Disability approach today

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Dr. Francisco De la Rosa M., Specialization in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Teaching Coordinator of the HGPS Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residence.

Addressing such an important and delicate issue for today's society makes it imperative that it be treated with clear terminology and also that some misconceptions that the general population has around the issue be clarified.

Disability is a unique and universal experience. And this means that each patient may experience some degree of disability secondary to some health condition at some time in life, although the degree or type of disability could vary depending on that condition.

And it is that when talking about disability most would think of a part of the population that lives chronically with some severe disability, be it physical, sensory or cognitive; however, the current concept is not restricted only to those conditions.

According to the World Disability Report of the World Health Organization (WHO) there are more than one billion people in the world with some form of disability, and of these, about 200 million experience serious operational difficulties.

This classification of these patients can be done taking into account the global and comprehensive vision that WHO poses in its International Classification of Functioning of Disability and Health, which takes into account not only aspects related to body structures and functions, but also personal and environmental factors that may restrict their participation in the usual activities of daily life as well as occupational or sports.

We can cite examples of disability of different types and grades. The case of a person living with a motor disability such as a paraplegia secondary to spinal injury could have the same anatomical level of injury and have different barriers in their environment that increase their disability, such as difficult access to public transport, health services or inclusion in jobs, these being different in countries with efficient policies and strategies for managing people living with a disability.

Likewise, we could say that a young pitcher who presents some condition on the shoulder of his dominant arm that restricts him from participating in his sporting activity and has difficult access to health services - be it because of his socioeconomic or geographical situation, he has barriers that accentuate your disability related to the condition.

In the first example, we could have a patient with a disability in terms of its structure and function component much more marked than the second; However, in an inclusive society it could have fewer barriers than the young athlete who lives in the interior of the country and does not have access to health services that allow him to recover his injury that limits him from launching and restricts his participation in sports activities.

This explains why disability must be approached from a broader and holistic point of view, exploring the entire bio-psycho-social model we know of medicine.

Posted in: Hoy Digital newspaper.

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