Physical Rehabilitation Needs Per Condition Type: Results From the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To determine how total physical rehabilitation needs have been distributed per relevant condition groups (musculoskeletal and pain, neurologic cardiothoracic, neoplasms, pediatric, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] related), globally and across countries of varying income level. DESIGN: Subgroup, secondary analyses of data from the Global Burden of Disease 2017. Data for the year 2017 are used for determining current needs and data from every year between 1990 and 2017 for determining changing trends. SETTINGS: Globally and high-, upper-middle-, lower-middle-, and low-income countries. PARTICIPANTS: Not applicable. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Years lived with disability (YLD) rates per 100,000 people for the 6 condition groups. RESULTS: In 2017, musculoskeletal and pain conditions accounted for 52.6% of the total physical rehabilitation needs worldwide, :HIV related for 5.7% of the physical rehabilitation needs in low-income nations, but about 1% in all other locations. Worldwide, significant increases in YLD rates were observed since 1990 for the 6 condition groups (P<.01). However, across country types, we observed significant decreases in YLD rates for specific conditions: pediatric in high-income countries, and neurologic and neoplasm conditions in low-income countries (P<.01). In upper-middle-income countries, YLD rates from neurologic and neoplasm conditions grew exponentially since 1990, with overall increases of 67% and 130%, respectively. CONCLUSION: At a global scale, physical rehabilitation needs per capita are growing for all major condition groups, with musculoskeletal and pain conditions currently accounting for over half of those needs. Countries of varying income level have different typologies and evolutionary trends in their rehabilitation needs.


  • Jesus, Tiago S
  • Landry, Michel D
  • Brooks, Dina
  • Hoenig, Helen

publication date

  • June 2020