The Impact of Checking the Health of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities on Primary Care Consultation Rates, Health Promotion and Contact with Specialists

Jillian M Powell, David Felce*, Helen Baxter , Kathy M Lowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Background:
Studies have found that health checking in primary care led to the identification of previously unrecognized morbidity among adults with intellectual disabilities. The aim here was to evaluate whether health checking stimulated increased consultation with the general practitioner or another member of the primary care team, increased health promotion actions undertaken outside the health check or increased contact with specialists.

Method:
Data on the above three categories of activity were abstracted from the medical records of 77 adult participants with intellectual disabilities for eight 6-month periods before and seven 6 month periods after they had undergone a health check. Comparisons of access to care before and after the health check were made using non-parametric statistics.

Results:
On average, participants had 5.4 and 1.8 primary care and specialist consultations per year respectively. There were no significant differences in either rate before and after the health check. The frequency of health promotion actions increased significantly after the health check from a mean of 1.2 to 2.2/year.

Conclusions:
Comparison of the primary care and specialist consultations rates of people with intellectual disabilities with those for the general population might suggest that the former have greater access to these services. However, comparison to the general practitioner consultation rates of patients with other chronic conditions would seem to indicate that contact with primary care may not be commensurate with need. Attention to health promotion is inadequate. Further research is required to substantiate whether health checking increases health promotion and how increased health promotion activity would affect the health of this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied research in intellectual disabilities : JARID
Volume21
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Research in Health and Social Care

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