This book deals with the various research methods, data sources, and definitions of work disability and study populations. The first section examines the long-term historical changes in health and functional ability, and the second focuses on the pathways through which individuals become disabled. The book helps us to understand the process through which individual health evolves, enabling more careful targeting of interventions toward individual pathways that lead to disability. The next section explores some of the effects of medical advances on specific health conditions and in turn, the effect of improving health on medical care spending. The fourth section evaluates the measurement of work disability, the extent of disability risk, and the growing number of recipients of disability insurance benefits, and the last section looks at how people function with physiological limitations. An overview of the chapters included in this book is provided.
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