Online Program

A simulated caregivers experience identifying state resources for intellectual disability on e-government websites

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kathleen Fisher, PhD, CRNP, College of Nursing & Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Justin Peterson, BS, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Background: With an increasing number of Americans turning to the internet for health information, there is a need to evaluate intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) resource information from e-government websites. Individuals with I/DD benefit from coordination in health care, and often require residential and social services to enhance quality of life and ability to lead healthy and engaging lives in the community. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional assessment of e-government websites to identify available services for the adult with I/DD was conducted by three researchers. Results: Available information on services and ease of access was recorded across all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Our focus of e-government sites was deemed as appropriate websites for state services, and provided uniform comparison among states. Specifically, information on services was available as follows: Residential (51/51), respite (49/51), transportation (45/51), medical equipment (29/51), aging (28/51), and transitional (24/51). For contact information, a phone number was listed (49/51), a phone number with a local area code (33/51), an email (23/51), and an inquiry form (3/51). Unique state programs and unique challenges were documented. Conclusions: Disparities in information for available resources across 51 e-government websites were found. Dead-links, unavailable webpages, poor internal search functions, unlisted services, unlisted contact information, and a lack of response communication from different states were some of the challenges. We recommend that e-government sites, where applicable, address these obstacles, consider publically informing caregivers about the availability of services, and implement the unique programs identified while highlighting their own unique programs in an easy-to-access manner.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the procedure for assessing state resources on e-government websites for an adult with an intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD). Assess the following seven services in a given state for the individual with I/DD: residential, transitional, aging, transportations services, assistive technologies, equipment and respite care. Identify a unique program to enhance quality of life for the individual with I/DD on e-government websites.

Keyword(s): Internet Tools, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In collaboration with the health and human service agency, the state public health department and 9 county MH/MR agencies we created a service agency: “Healthcare Quality Unit", to build capacity in the community while overseeing care for ~ 1200 individuals with I/DD in my home state. I was the principal investigator of a federally funded grant describing decision making by proxy for this vulnerable population also in my home state.
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.