The interaction between social equality and personal assistance: a cross-country analysis

Carla Branco, Miguel Rui Ribeiro Da Silva Taborda Ramos, Miles Hewstone

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Several countries have enacted personal assistance (PA) legislation over the past few decades. Although this policy has been associated with improvements in the quality of life, here we explore how it interacts with the social environment. We examine how the existence of PA legislation influences the effect of social equality on the health and well-being of disabled people. Multilevel analysis was performed using data from the European Social Survey (n = 18,924), including 31 countries and 7 waves of data (2002–2014). Results show that social equality has a positive effect on well-being, but only in countries with PA. The relationship between social equality and well-being, in countries with PA, is explained by increased public participation, satisfaction with the political and economic situation, and a more positive opinion about the health services. Our findings highlight the importance of PA in influencing disability equality and improving disabled people’s well-being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability & Society
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Oct 2021


  • Social factors of health and well-being
  • inequality
  • personal assistance
  • disabled people
  • disability equality


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