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Are People with Intellectual Disabilities Represented in European Public Health Surveys?

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Background 

Evidence suggests that people with intellectual disabilities experience secondary health conditions and report inequities in health status and access to health systems. Reliable information is essential to identify health disparities. A review of health interview and health examination surveys conducted in 17 European countries was undertaken to determine whether people with intellectual disabilities were represented. Method 

Using the online HIS HES database, 123 health surveys were scrutinized to determine whether they contained questions relevant to the Pomona 18 indicator set, and whether data could be extracted specifically on behalf of respondents with intellectual disabilities. Results 

Findings reveal that while items relating to 16 of the Pomona 18 health indicators were found in 123 of the surveys scrutinized, only nine surveys were identified as having potential to extract data on respondents with intellectual disabilities. Conclusion 

These findings have implications for those charged with the collection of comparable information about population health.
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Keywords: health monitoring; health surveys; intellectual disabilities; mental retardation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Disability Studies, School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland 2: Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands 3: Department of Psychological Medicine, The Welsh Centre for Leaning Disabilities, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Wales, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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