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Does personal assistance enable people to live normal lives?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Research in Disability and Habilitation.
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 23, no (suppl 1), 217- p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


In Sweden, people with a substantial and permanent

disability have been entitled to personal assistance since

the personal assistance reform took effect in 1994. To

qualify for government attendance allowance, a person must

belong to one of the groups predefined in the Act

Concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain

Functional Impairments and require personal assistance with

their basic daily needs for more than 20 hours a week.

Attendance allowance may be granted to people who have

not turned 65. Compensation for almost 93 million hours

of assistance was paid for a total of 15,877 clients in 2010.

The average number of hours has increased by 73 percent

between 1994 and 2010. Two and a half times as many

people received attendance allowance in 2010 as in 1994.

The aim of this study was to investigate if attendance

allowance provides the prerequisites for people with personal

assistance to engage in meaningful activities and participate

in the labor market.


The report consists of a quantitative cross-sectional analysis

based on data from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency as

well as data from a questionnaire survey of a sample of people

entitled to personal assistance (total of 15,515) conducted in

2010. The number of responses (10,200) corresponds to a

response rate of 67 % which is very high considering the

potential difficulties involved for this population.


The results shed light on the extent to which personal

assistance enables people to live normal lives. More men

than women believe that attendance allowance is a prerequisite

for their ability to work or study. Eight of ten clients reported

that assistance contributed to the ability to have a meaningful

employment. Nine of ten people, including small children,

reported that assistance promoted opportunities for social

contact and activities. Nevertheless, a relatively large percentage

(ca 60%) of respondents expressed uneasiness about the



The results indicate that personal assistance offers valuable

support that largely meets Sweden’s obligations pursuant to

the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Personal assistance also creates better conditions for the

fulfillment of Sweden’s national public health goals.

Key message

Personal assistance in Sweden enables people to live normal

lives and is a prerequisite for work, studies and other

meaningful activities among young people and adults with

permanent disability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 23, no (suppl 1), 217- p.
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Social Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214919DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckt123.169OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-214919DiVA: diva2:685764
6th European Public Health ConferenceHealth in Europe: are we there yet?Learning from the past, building the future
Socialförsäkringens betydelse för kvinnor och män med statlig personlig assistans i uppfyllandet av de nationella folkhälsomålen.
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, dnr 2012-0921

I samarbete med Fösäkringskassan.

Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2014-01-09 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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