Purpose: This paper aims to analyze the levels and trajectories of physical rehabilitation needs across five resource-poor world regions, against global and key country-specific benchmarks. Materials and methods: This comparative, secondary cross-region analysis uses data from the Global Burden of Diseases study 2017 [1990–2017], specifically varied metrics of the Years Lived with Disability (YLD) measure from the health conditions likely benefiting from physical rehabilitation. Results: All the resource-poor world regions had significant increases (p < 0.01) in the absolute, relative, and percentage of physical rehabilitation needs [1990–2017]. Nonetheless, The Asia-Pacific region stood out with the greatest YLD Rates (i.e., per population size) in 2017, the greatest growth in YLD Rates since 1990 (38%), and an exponential growth in the rehabilitation-sensitive YLD Rates. The Asia-Pacific region also had the greatest portion of their YLDs coming from rehabilitation-sensitive conditions (72% in 2017), closely followed by the Latin America & Caribbean (67%). Nonetheless, in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, we observed the greatest percent increases in the portion of physical rehabilitation needs among all YLDs, out of lower initial values. Conclusions: An overall growth but differential patterns were observed in the evolution of physical rehabilitation needs across the resource-poor world regions.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Asia-Pacific and Latin America & Caribbean regions had over than two-thirds of their non-fatal health loss arising from conditions sensitive to physical rehabilitation, and important growths in rehabilitation need indicators have been observed also for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The scale-up and strengthening of rehabilitation services and resources should be informed by needs-based data. The needs-based data from this study can inform trans-national developments and the planning of rehabilitation resources, inclusively at the world-region level.
- (MeSH terms): Rehabilitation
- developing countries
- global burden of disease
- global health
- health services needs and demand