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Women be Healthy: Evaluation of a Women's Health Curriculum for Women with Intellectual Disabilities

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Abstract Background 

Insufficient attention has been paid towards treating the unique health needs of women with intellectual disabilities. This paper describes an 8-week curriculum, ‘Women Be Healthy’, developed for women with intellectual disabilities to help them become more equal partners in their health care. The curriculum includes psycho-education, coping skills training, exposure to the medical setting and assertiveness training. Materials and methods 

Twenty-two women completed assessments of health knowledge, health behaviour beliefs and coping strategies, prior to and following participation in the 8-week curriculum, which took place in a group setting at a clinic for people with intellectual disabilities. Results 

Women showed significant improvements in health knowledge, health behaviour beliefs and coping strategies following intervention, and maintained some of these treatment gains (health knowledge and health behaviour beliefs) at a 10-week follow-up. Conclusions 

‘Women Be Healthy’ is an example of a group-based intervention that helps women with intellectual disabilities become more knowledgeable and perhaps more comfortable with health-care procedures.
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Keywords: advocacy; intellectual disability; women's health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Ohio State University, Nisonger Center, 1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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