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Clinical science
Assessment of visual disability using the WHO disability assessment scale (WHO-DAS-II): role of gender
  1. H E Badr,
  2. H Mourad
  1. Department of Family Health, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr H E Badr, Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, PO Box 24923 Safat, 13110 Kuwait; hanan29{at}


Objective: To study the role of gender in coping with disability in young visually impaired students attending two schools for blindness.

Methods: The WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS II), 36-Item Interviewer Administered translated Arabic version was used. It evaluates six domains of everyday living in the last 30 days. These domains are: understanding and communicating, getting around, self care, getting along with people, household activities and participation in society. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 200 students who represented the target population of the study.

Results: Binary logistic regression analysis of the scores of the six domains revealed that in all of the domains except getting along with people and coping with school activities, females significantly faced more difficulties in coping with daily life activities than did their male counterparts. Increasing age significantly increased difficulties in coping with school activities. Genetic causes of blindness were associated with increased difficulties.

Conclusion: Females face more difficulties in coping with visual disability. Genetic counselling is needed to decrease the prevalence of visual disability. Girls with blindness need additional inputs to help cope with blindness. Early intervention facilitates dealing with school activities of the visually impaired.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Ethics Committee of the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

  • Patient consent Obtained from the parents.