242691 Preliminary findings on the health status and health behaviors of adults with intellectual disabilities: A national study

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:48 AM

James Rimmer, PhD , Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Kelly Hsieh, PhD , Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Introduction. This paper presents preliminary findings of partial baseline data (N=832) in a 4-year prospective study examining health behaviors (physical activity, dietary habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, and oral health) and health outcomes (chronic health conditions, informant-rated health) among adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). Over 1,500 adults with ID nationwide participated in this study. Methods. Data collection was conducted by using mixed-mode approaches (paper or web version of the same questionnaire). Results. The majority of participants were white (93%), living with family members (53%), and between 18 and 44 years (70%). Over 55% of the informants rated the health of individuals with ID very good/excellent, which is similar to percentages of self-rated health reported in the general population. The top five health conditions reported were: seizure disorder (21%), anxiety disorder (18.8%), depression (17.1%), constipation (15.2%), and urinary incontinence (15%). Over 65% of participants were overweight or obese. For the health behaviors, more than 90% had less than the recommended 5 servings of fruits & vegetables intake daily; over 25% never/rarely engaged in any moderate physical activity; 42% only brushed their teeth one time a day or less, 15% drank alcohol; and only 4% currently smoked. Conclusion. Health promotion programs tailored toward healthy diet choices, being active and improving oral health are needed to lower obesity and improve quality of life in adults with ID. Strategies and guidelines for the development of effective community-based health promotion programs for adults with ID are needed to reduce certain health disparities in this population.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. List the top five health conditions for adults with intellectual disabilities. 2. Identify health behavior risk factors in adults with intellectual disabilities.

Keywords: Health Behavior, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 15 years of research experience
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.