Freedman RI, Chassler D
SourcePublic Health Rep 2004 Jul-Aug; 119(4)
This article presents survey data about the health and behavioral characteristics of a randomly selected sample of 629 adults with mental retardation (MR) living in Massachusetts in 2000. The goals of this analysis were to: describe the health, behavioral, and functional characteristics of the sample; examine relationships between consumer health, behavior problems, and functioning; and analyze variations in health and behavior problems by type of residential setting (parent/relative home, community residence, or institutional setting).
The authors analyzed data obtained from interviews with proxies (relatives, guardians, advocates, or program staff) on behalf of consumers and from state agency records. Chi-square analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between health, behavioral, and functional characteristics of consumers and differences in health and behaviors by type of residence.
More than 80% of consumers were reported to have either "excellent" or "good" health. Overall health status did not significantly vary by residential type, but was significantly related to the presence of additional disabilities and some functional limitations. Several health and behavioral measures varied significantly by residential type: recent physical, dental, and ob/gyn exams; medication usage; problem behaviors; and functional level.
As large numbers of individuals with MR reach adulthood and old age, public health and medical professionals face the challenges of addressing the health and behavioral needs of this population, preventing secondary health conditions, and improving environmental conditions that may influence health and mental health.
MeshActivities of Daily LivingAdolescentAdultAgedAged, 80 and overChi-Square DistributionFemaleHealth StatusHealth SurveysHumansIntellectual DisabilityMaleMassachusettsMental DisordersMental HealthMiddle AgedNeeds AssessmentPrevalenceProxyPublic HealthQuestionnairesResidence CharacteristicsResidential FacilitiesSeverity of Illness Index
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't