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National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD)


Health Research Board (HRB)

Topic: Health Inequalities
Chronic Conditions
Rare Disease
Rare Diseases
Chronic Conditions
Health Inequalities
Catalogue: Data
Primary Data Sources
Type: Database
Region: Republic of Ireland

The National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) is a set of information that outlines the specialised health services currently used or needed by people with physical/sensory disability. The Database assists in informing the regional and national planning of these services by providing information on current service use and future service need. The NPSDD was established in 2002 and there are now more than 27,000 people registered on the Database.


This service planning tool provides a profile of people with physical or sensory disability who:


  • are receiving specialised health and personal social services;
  • are waiting for specialised health and personal services
  • the type of service they are waiting for and ;
  • when, in the next five years, they need these services.


As not every individual in Ireland who has a physical/sensory or speech & language disability is availing of, or requiring a specialised health and personal social service and as the registration on to the database is voluntary, the NPSDD cannot provide any definitive epidemiological statement on the number of people with a particular type of disability. Therefore the database may not cover a proportion of people living in Ireland who have a physical or sensory disability. Furthermore, the database does not currently include those who are aged 66 years or over.


The National Physical and Sensory Disability Database is managed by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Department of Health.

The database records information on the following areas:

  • Personal and demographic details such as date of birth, gender, primary carer details and type of living accommodation/living arrangements
  • What services are currently received, including therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation services, personal assistance and support services, respite, residential and day services.
  • What services in the categories outlined above are required and when
  • Details of the individuals diagnostic category
  • The degree of activity limitation and participation restriction that a person is experiencing and the environmental factors that create barriers to participation.
  • Additional information to assist with the administration of the database



Rights: © Department of Health and Children
Suggested citation:

Health Research Board (HRB). (2012) National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 17th June 2019].


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