While the Coumarelos et al. (2006) survey had the advantage of recording the type of chronic illness or disability, it did not assess the severity of the illnesses and disabilities, such as the level of restriction involved in participating in daily activities or in society more generally. As a result, any differences reported below between the five disability type sub-groups could, in part, be due to differences in severity. Furthermore, the low numbers in some of the disability type sub-groups (i.e. the mental health problem, sensory disability and multiple types sub-groups) may also have militated against finding significant differences.
As a result of the above limitations, the conclusions presented in this paper should be treated as suggestive rather than definitive. However, given the dearth of empirical data on this issue, the present findings are a starting point for exploring this issue and, it is hoped, will provide a stimulus for more rigorous future investigation.14