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  1. I Weerasinghe1,
  2. F Pushpa2,
  3. D Samath3,
  4. J Sumedha4
  1. 1Acting Consultant Community Physician, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  2. 2Professor in Community Medicine, University of Ruhuna and Sri Jayawardanapura, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  3. 3Associate Professor in Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Kandy, Sri Lanka
  4. 4Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Kandy


Background Injuries remain the leading cause of death and disability among all age groups except 60 years of age or older. Road traffic accidents, occupations, sports, violence and humanitarian crisis significantly contribute to injuries. In Sri Lanka non-accident, traumatic injury, such as stepping on pressure mines, grenade and mortar blasts and trap gun accidents are common. Sri Lankans also suffer from a high rate of train mishaps. However, the magnitude of the contribution of various types of injuries to disability is still not well documented in Sri Lanka.

Objective This study assessed prevalence of physical disability due to injuries among adults in Kandy Municipal Council area (KMC) in Central Sri Lanka.

Design A community-based descriptive cross sectional study.

Setting KMC area in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Participants 2 460 adults aged 18 to 59 years selected using cluster sampling.

Main outcome measurements Physical disability was measured using a physical examination and World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule-Version II. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to reveal injury related data. Prevalence of physical disability due to injury and types of injuries were the main outcome measures.

Results Prevalence of physical disability due to injuries was 0.6% (95% CI: 0.3–0.9). 13.6% (n=14) of physical disabilities were caused by injuries. Injuries reported included road traffic accidents (42.8%, n=6), falls (42.8%, n=6), war injuries (7.2%, n=1) and sports injuries (7.2%, n=1). Majority who underwent injuries were females (57.1%, n=8). There was no significant difference between males and females according to injury occurrence (P<.05).

Conclusion A significant proportion of physical disabilities were due to injuries. A majority of injuries occurred due to road traffic accidents while sports injuries contributed least for physical disability in the community in Sri Lanka.

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