The impact of health checks for people with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review of evidence

Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55(11), November 2011, pp.1009-1019.

People with intellectual disabilities (ID) have poorer health than their non-disabled peers, partly because of barriers associated with identifying ill health and ensuring timely access to healthcare services. The implementation of health checks for people with ID have been recommended internationally as one component of health policy responses to the poorer health of people with ID. The aim of this review is to summarise evidence on the impact of health checks on the health and well-being of people with ID. Searches of electronic literature databases and email contacts were used to identify relevant peer reviewed articles published from 1989 onwards in the English language. A total of 38 publications were identified. In total, the articles described the health checks of over 5000 people with ID from a range of countries. The samples covered a full range of ages, severity of ID, and living situations. Health checks consistently led to detection of unmet health needs and targeted actions to address health needs. The review concludes that health checks are effective in identifying previously unrecognised health needs, including life-threatening conditions.

Subject terms:
learning disabilities, prevention, primary care, screening, health care, health needs;
Content type:
systematic review
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