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Health of people with intellectual disabilities: a review of factors influencing access to health care



Health of people with intellectual disabilities: a review of factors influencing access to health care



British Journal of Health Psychology 10(Pt 4): 559-570



The rights and needs of people with intellectual disabilities are being acknowledged within Department of Health policies. In spite of this, however, it is frequently cited that people with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable to many health problems but have poor access to health-related services. There are many factors that can act as barriers to people with intellectual disabilities enjoying good health and accessing services. These include: (a) a lack of clarity regarding responsibilities for ensuring that health policies are operationalized; (b) social and residential aspects of life being emphasized within the quality of life framework for evaluating services for people with intellectual disabilities, with health as an under-represented domain; (c) a lack of reliable and valid measures that can be used with carers and people with intellectual disabilities to explore health, particularly in comparison to literature on the general population; (d) potential communication difficulties (between the person with intellectual disabilities, their carers and health staff) that can impact on decision-making processes from early identification of health problems through to the stage of gaining appropriate treatment. These areas are discussed giving rise to questions and challenges for policy makers, researchers and clinicians.

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Accession: 049194021

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16238865

DOI: 10.1348/135910705x43769


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