Background:The government of Taiwan provided welfare services for population with disabilities for the past thirty years. However, there is a lack impact research on those who received the welfare services.
Objectives: To reflect welfare services policy effects, this study aimed at estimating the life expectancy of people with different disabilities compared with the general population.
Methods: There were totally 1 015 892 people with disabilities registered in the welfare service programme and they were selected for this study. We used the life table method to calculate life expectancy between 2002 and 2011. The corresponding information for general population was collected from the demographic statistics reports of the Ministry of the Interior.
Results: The results showed life expectancy has been significantly increased for people with various types of disabilities during the past decade: people with memory loss (life expectancy was increased from 6.4 years in 2002 to 10.1 years in 2011), balance impairment (from 23.6 years to 43.3 years), physical disability (from 37.2 years to 43.8 years), loss function of vital organs (from 25.6 years to 49.1 years), vegetable person (from 9.9 years to 18.1 years), vision loss and blindness (from 21.9 years to 24.3 years), speech and language disabilities (from 22.4 years to 30.3 years), facial injuries (from 15.0 years to 22.5 years) and learning disability (from 25.1 years to 26.5 years).
Conclusions: Compared to general population during the same period, life expectancy in the disabled people has been significantly improved. Our results affirm that the welfare policy implemented in Taiwan has positive effects on health improvement for the disabled people.