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behavioral risk factor surveillance system, census, epidemiology, population surveillance, public health, rehabilitation



  1. DeFries, Erin L. MPH
  2. Andresen, Elena M. PhD
  3. Classen, Sherrilene PhD, MPH, OTR/L


It is anticipated that the number of older adults with impairments or limitations will increase from approximately 14 million today to more than 28 million in 2030. The intent of this article is to illustrate the place of public health and population-level data in understanding current and future impacts on rehabilitation practitioners, the services they provide, and the clients they serve. Rehabilitation professionals can use public health data, like the Census and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, to facilitate data-driven planning. To explain this notion, we introduce basic public health concepts as well as aging and disability-related data examples.