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Disability - Ensuring that disabilities are no handicap
“To assess the quality of care for people with disabilities across a variety of cultures and provide new insights and guidance on improving service provision to promote quality of life and integrated living”

The problem

Efforts to improve the quality of care and quality of life of people with intellectual and physical disabilities are at different stages of development, across Europe and beyond. In particular, the service provision needed to promote the move from segregated living to more integrated living within the community is developing at different rates in different countries and regions. There is a need for better systems of care which can be applied in a wide variety of cultural and social environments, and which include appropriate opportunities for user feedback and participation in care policies.

DIS‑QOL  Better care, social inclusion and quality of life for people with disabilities


DIS-QOL is conducting research into the quality of care and quality of life for people with disabilities.

The project will:

  • Survey options for the care and support of people with physical and intellectual disabilities in the EU and other partner countries
  • Investigate the extent to which care and support options promote integrated living, social inclusion and user-participation
  • Examine the role of attitudes to disability and people
    with disabilities
  • Assess the impact of different service models and care practices on the quality of life of people with disabilities
  • Develop and test three new cross-cultural measures in the light of the research results

Contribution to policy development:

  • The project’s findings will be used to provide policy guidelines and a framework for social justice in relation to service provision for people with disabilities
  • A better understanding of the impact of community care policies on quality of life and the promotion of
    integrated living
  • Provision of evaluation tools and benchmarks useful at national policy level for assessment and improvement
    of policy

Project deliverables

  • Comprehensive review of the quality of care and quality of life of people with disabilities within the EU and other partner countries (January 2006 - March 2006)
  • Development of a set of pilot quality of life, attitudes to disability and accommodation/care modules (December 2006 - March 2007)
  • Development of field trial version of quality of life, attitudes to disability and accommodation/care modules that can be used in a range of different cultures (December 2007 - January 2008)
  • Publication and dissemination of results (by December 2008)


  • Liaison between each partner and local and national NGOs working in the field of disability
  • Three core measures of Quality of Life, Quality of Care and Attitudes to disabilities
  • Development of professional materials, such as manuals, videos and training packages, based on the projectís findings
  • Self-help and self-assessment packages for widespread distribution via internet and other media
  • Dissemination of findings through presentations at key international conferences and meetings
  • An international conference hosted by the World Health Organisation for dissemination to policy makers, service providers and service users

Technical information

Project acronym: DIS-QOL
Project’s official full title: Quality of Care and Quality of Life For People with Intellectual and Physical Disabilities: Integrated Living, Social Inclusion and Service User Participation  
Research priority: 2.4. Quality of life issues relating to handicapped/disabled people (including equal access facilities)
Specific webpage: Not available
Proposal/contract no: 513723
Start date: 01 July 2008
Kick off meeting: 25-28 August 2005
Completion date: 31 December 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Véronique Bernard,

Name: University of Edinburgh
Abbreviated name: UEDIN
Address: Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 1000
Fax: +44 (0)131 650 2147


Name: World Health Organisation
Abbreviated name: WHO
Country: Switzerland

Name: Fundacio Institut Català de l´Envelliment, Fundacio Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Abbreviated name: FICE
Country: Spain

Name: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Abbreviated name: IHPST UMR 8590 CNRS

Name: Prague Psychiatric Centre
Abbreviated name: PCP
Country: Czech Republic

Name: University of Tromso
Abbreviated name: UiTo
Country: Norway

Name: Tokyo University of Science
Abbreviated name: TUS
Country: Japan

Name: Saglikta Yasam Kalitesi Dernegi
Abbreviated name: SAYKAD
Country: Turkey

Name: Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine at Vilnius University
Abbreviated name: IECM VU
Country: Lithuania

Name: Centro per la Formazione Permanente e L'aggiornamento del Personale del Servizio Sanitario
Abbreviated name: CEFPAS
Country: Italy

Name: University of Hamburg
Abbreviated name: UNI-HH
Country: Germany

Name: Tilburg University
Abbreviated name: UvT
Country: Netherlands

Name: Sun Yat-Sen University
Abbreviated name: SPH/SYSU
Country: China