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.


Department of Clinical Research
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


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

Prevalence, risk factors and causes of hearing loss among adults 50 years and older in Santiago, Chile: results from a rapid assessment of hearing loss survey.
Tamblay N; Torrente MC; Huidobro B; Tapia-Mora D; Anabalon K; Polack S; Bright T
International journal of audiology
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
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
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
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
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
See more Publications