Dr Sarah Polack


Associate Professor

3rd Floor, South Courtyard

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 20 7958 8343

+44 20 795 8317

I am an Associate Professor working with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at LSHTM.


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Department of Clinical Research


I am the primary supervisor for three DrPH students  (Phillip Sheppard: Experiences of older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises; Tim O'Fallon: Access to rehabilitation for people with disabilities in the Maldives; Giulia Oggera: Assitive technology in humanitarian crises). I co-supervise three PhD students (David Musendo: Parent-level interventions to support inclusive education in Malawi; Dorothy Boggs: Development of survey methods to assess assitive products need for functional impairments; Maria Zuurmond: Understanding the lives of caregivers and evaluating a support programme for caregivers of children with disabilities: lessons learnt from Ghana).

I am a Research Degree Coordinator for the Clinical Research Department and Chair of the Global Mental Health MSc Exam Board.  I teach on the 'Epidemiology of Eye Diseases' and am a personal tutor for students on the Global Mental Health MSc.



My research focusses on disability in low and middle income countries. Current/recent research projects include:

  • Developing methods for assessing need for rehabilitation and assitive products within population surveys in low resource settings
  • Developing guidelines on mental health and psychosocial support for children with hearing loss in Gaza
  • Prevalence and impact of disability among Syrian refugees in Turkey [Report]
  • Building evidence and understanding of stigma related to children with cerebral palsy and their families
  • Investigating the experiences of older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises [Report]
  • Developing interventions to improve uptake of ear and hearing services in Malawi [publication]
  • National survey of Disability in Guatemala: population based prevalence survey with a nested case control study to assess the impact of disability on participation and access to services [Report]
  • Impact evaluation of a parent training resource for children with Cerebral Palsy in Ghana [Report]  

Member of the International centre for Evidence in Disability at LSHTM: 

Research Area
Child health
Health status measurement
Impact evaluation
Mobile technologies
Operational research
Disease and Health Conditions

Selected Publications

Estimating Need for Glasses and Hearing Aids in The Gambia: Results from a National Survey and Comparison of Clinical Impairment and Self-Report Assessment Approaches.
Boggs D; Hydara A; Faal Y; Okoh JA; Olaniyan SI; Sanneh H; Ngett A; Bah I; Aleser M; Denis E
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Measuring assistive technology supply and demand: A scoping review.
Danemayer J; Boggs D; Polack S; Smith EM; Ramos VD; Battistella LR; Holloway C
Assistive technology : the official journal of RESNA
Childhood musculoskeletal impairment in Malawi from traumatic and non-traumatic causes: a population- based assessment using the key informant method
Linder CL; Atijosan-Ayodele O; Chokotho L; Mulwafu W; Tataryn M; Polack S; Kuper H; Pandit H; Lavy C
BMC musculoskeletal disorders
Interrogating and Reflecting on Disability Prevalence Data Collected Using the Washington Group Tools: Results from Population-Based Surveys in Cameroon, Guatemala, India, Maldives, Nepal, Turkey and Vanuatu.
Mactaggart I; Hasan Bek A; Banks LM; Bright T; Dionicio C; Hameed S; Neupane S; Murthy G; Orucu A; Oye J
International journal of environmental research and public health
Disability among Syrian refugees living in Sultanbeyli, Istanbul: Results from a population-based survey
Polack S; Scherer N; Yonso H; Volkan S; Pivato I; Shaikhani A; Boggs D; Beck AH; Atijosan-Ayodele O; Deniz G
PloS one
Disability among Older People: Analysis of Data from Disability Surveys in Six Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
Prynn JE; Polack S; Mactaggart I; Banks LM; Hameed S; Dionicio C; Neupane S; Murthy G; Oye J; Naber J
International journal of environmental research and public health
Mental health support for children and adolescents with hearing loss: scoping review
Scherer N; Bright T; Musendo DJ; O'Fallon T; Kubwimana C; Eaton J; Kakuma R; Smythe T; Polack S
BJPsych Open
See more Publications