Background and objectives: Disability is a major public health problem in the developing countries. Yet studies and census reports from developing countries provide insufficient information on disability profiles. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess occurrence, patterns and socio-demographic correlates of disability in selected rural settings in Nigeria. Materials and methods: This house to house cross-sectional survey was conducted among 200 residents in Moro and Edunabon communities in Ife North Local Government Area, Osun State, Nigeria. Disability was classified according to the World Health Organization International classification with criteria based on functional limitation. Households were considered as the Primary Sampling Unit (PSU) in this study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the analysis of the data obtained. The alpha level was set at p< 0.05. Results: The total occurrence of disability was 16%. Visual disability was the most prevalent (6%) and it was significantly associated with age (χ2=11.702; p= 0.010). The recorded locomotor, mental, speech and hearing disabilities constituted 5%, 2%, 1% and 2% respectively of the total population surveyed. The overall occurrence was found to be higher among males and the middle-aged group (31-50) and significantly correlated with low socioeconomic status. There was a significant association between visual impairment and age (χ 2=11.702; p= 0.010); hearing disability and marital status (χ2=21.747; p= 0.003); as well as mental disability and marital status (χ2=21.747; p= 0.003). Conclusion: A high occurrence of disability was identified among rural residents in Nigeria, especially among males, those with low socio-economic status, those educated up to secondary school, unemployed and married partners. Visual disability, followed by locomotor disability, is the most common type. It is related to age, while marital status significantly correlates with hearing and mental disability.
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