Disabled People's Organisations increase access to services and improve well-being: evidence from a cluster randomized trial in North India
AuthorGrills, NJ; Hoq, M; Wong, C-PP; Allagh, K; Singh, L; Soji, F; Murthy, GVS
Source TitleBMC PUBLIC HEALTH
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGrills, N. J., Hoq, M., Wong, C. -P. P., Allagh, K., Singh, L., Soji, F. & Murthy, G. V. S. (2020). Disabled People's Organisations increase access to services and improve well-being: evidence from a cluster randomized trial in North India. BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, 20 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8192-0.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6995118
BACKGROUND: Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs) are the mainstay of disability responses worldwide. Yet there is no quantitative data assessing their effectiveness in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The aim of this study was to measure the effectiveness of DPOs as a low-cost intervention to improve well-being and access to services and facilities for people with disabilities. METHODS: We undertook a cluster randomised intervention control trial across 39 distinct rural villages in Uttarakhand State, North India. A total of 527 participants were included from 39 villages: 302 people from 20 villages were assigned to the intervention arm and 225 from 19 villages were assigned to the control group. Over a 2-year period, people with disabilities were facilitated to form DPOs with regular home visits. Participants were also given financial support for public events and exposure visits to other DPOs. Seven domains were used to measure access and participation. RESULTS: DPO formation had improved participation in community consultations (OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.4 to 4.72), social activities (OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.38 to 4.38), DPOs (OR 14.78, 95% CI 1.43 to 152.43), access to toilet facilities (OR 3.89, 95% CI 1.31 to 11.57), rehabilitation (OR 6.83, 95% CI 2.4 to 19.42) and Government social welfare services (OR 4.82, 95% CI 2.35 to 9.91) in intervention when compared to the control. People who were part of a DPO had an improvement in having their opinion heard (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.24) and being able to make friends (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1 to 2.65) compared to those who were not part of a DPO. All other well-being variables had little evidence despite greater improvement in the DPO intervention group. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first randomised control trial to demonstrate that DPOs in LMICs are effective at improving participation, access and well-being. This study supports the ongoing role of DPOs in activities related to disability inclusion and disability services. This study also suggests that supporting the establishment, facilitation and strengthening of DPOs is a cost-effective intervention and role that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can play. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN36867362, 9th Oct 2019 (retrospectively registered).
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