Evidence and outcomes resources: Physical disabilities

We have sourced some helpful links for organisations working with people with physical disabilities or their families/carers. You may find these useful in planning and carrying out your outcomes data collection, or in understanding the evidence base for your model. The advice includes:

  • Existing research and evidence in your sector to help you establish what evidence already exists. This will help you understand the extent to which you need to collect outcomes data yourself, or how rigorous your methodology needs to be.
  • Guidance to help you design suitable outcomes or indicators to evaluate your service or programme.
  • Existing outcomes frameworks and data collection tools developed by academics or leading charities in the field. The benefit of using an existing framework or measure is that you don’t have to spend time and money developing your own, and you can be more confident in the quality. The downside is that it is not tailored to your organisation, so some outcomes or data collection tools may not be suitable for your context or the people you work with.

Please note that these resources were not identified through an exhaustive review.

Research and evidence



Mental Health Services Dataset Data about the care of children, young people and adults who are in contact with mental health, learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorder services (NHS Digital).


Mencap research and statistics Research and statistics about learning disability issues (Mencap)


RBIB research and knowledge hub Research and statistics about sight loss and the issues affecting blind and partially sighted people (RNIB).





SEND outcomes explainer for professionals and parent/carers A set of resources to help practitioners and parents/carers to have a shared understanding of outcomes, outputs, and impact.


Frameworks and data collection tools



An Intellectual Disability Outcomes Framework for improving the quality of services for people with intellectual disability Report for health and social care professionals and commissioners working with people with intellectual disabilities. It outlines the Intellectual Disability Outcomes Framework and key indicators (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015).


WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0) Instrument for assessing health status and disability across different cultures and settings. Covers 6 domains of functioning, including cognition, mobility, self-care, getting along, life activities, participation (World Health Organization).


Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI) Tool for social workers or other assessors to find out how well someone has recovered from their brain injury and to determine what social care support they might need (Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust).


DASH Outcome measures Questionnaire to measure and monitor changes over time in physical function and symptoms in patients with any or several musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb (DASH). 30-items, self-report. There is also an 11-item quickDash.


Outcomes stars (various) Tools to measure numerous outcomes. For example, the Life star measures progress towards maximising independence, choice and well-being for young people and adults with learning disabilities, while the Spectrum star measures progress towards self-reliance for adults of any age with autism (Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise). Requires a licence.


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These webpages have been adapted from the Inspiring Impact programme, which ran from 2011 until early 2022 and supported voluntary organisations to improve their impact practice. More information about the Inspiring Impact programme.