Correlates of child functional difficulties status in Ghana: A further analysis of the 2017/18 multiple indicator cluster survey

Nutifafa Eugene Yaw DEY, Emmanuel DZIWORNU, Kwabena FRIMPONG-MANSO, Henry Ofori DUAH, Pascal AGBADI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Functional difficulties have long-term implications for children's physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and academic growth and development. Although the subject of functional difficulties has received enough scholarly attention in the developed world, few studies have addressed the issue in Ghana. Therefore, the study aimed to regress child, maternal and household and geographical level factors associated with the functional difficulty of children in Ghana.

Method: We analysed the 2017/18 multiple indicator cluster survey dataset. The study sample consists of weighted cases of 21,871 children within the ages of 5–17 years. Summary statistics were produced for the study variables. Bivariate analyses were performed to select significant correlates for the multivariate analysis. We accounted for sample design and weight before using Poisson regression techniques to do the bivariate and multivariate analysis.

Results: These factors were significantly associated with functional difficulties among 5–17 years old children in Ghana: not covered with health insurance, mothers who have a functional difficulty and those without information on their functional difficulty status, and children who dwelt in richer households compared to the richest households. Compared to the northern region, children from the remaining nine regions in Ghana were more likely to have had a child functional difficulty.

Conclusion: Given the results, the government of Ghana and other development partners should promote policies and programs to reduce the consequences of disability or functional difficulties in children by taking into consideration factors like mothers' functional difficulty, access to health insurance, and regional and economic disparities in Ghana.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere05727
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Early online date15 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Children
  • Functional disabilities
  • Ghana
  • Psychology
  • Quality of life


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