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Epidemiol Health. 2018;40(1):e2018010. English. Original Article.
Raouafi S , Achiche S , Raison M .
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Polytechnic School of Montréal, Montreal, Canada.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Machine Design Section, Polytechnic School of Montréal, Montreal, Canada.


The aims of this study were to identify the associations of levels of severity of neurodevelopmental disorders and disabilities (NDD/D) in children with their household socioeconomic status (SES) and their frequency of visits to a healthcare provider, and to examine how the severity of disability varied with these determinants among NDD/D subgroups, in order to inform possible social policy changes and to improve access to the healthcare system.


Data from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey on children aged 5-14 years, collected by Statistics Canada, were analyzed (n=7,072 and weighted n=340,340). Children with NDD/D constituted those with impairments in motor, speech, neurosensory, and psychological functioning, as well as those who had issues with learning/cognition and social interactions. The weighted sample size for this group was n=111,630 (total sample size for children with limitations: n=174,810). We used logistic regression to assess the associations of household SES and frequency of visits to a healthcare provider with disability level. We included NDD/D subgroups as interaction terms in the model. Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was conducted to develop a profile of disability level.


After-tax low income, family assistance, out-of-pocket expenses, needing but not receiving health services from a social worker, condition of the dwelling, and residential location were associated with the severity of NDD/D. Using MCA, 2 disability profiles could be identified based on access to healthcare, household income status, and condition of the dwelling.


More social interventions are needed to reduce difficulties in accessing healthcare and to diminish the socially determined health inequalities faced by children with NDD/D.

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