Research

Health conditions and support needs of persons living in residential facilities for adults with intellectual disability in Western Cape Province

Judith A Mckenzie, Roy McConkey, Colleen M Adnams

Abstract


Background. Intellectual disability (ID) is a relatively high-incidence disability, with an increased risk of poor physical and mental health. Persons with ID also have lifelong support needs that must be met if they are to achieve an acceptable quality of life. Little is known about these health conditions and support needs in the African context. This study examines persons over the age of 18 years with ID in residential facilities in Western Cape Province.

Objective. To analyse the health conditions and support needs of persons with ID in Western Cape Province.

Method. A survey of residents’ health conditions and support needs was conducted in face-to-face interviews with the managers of 37 out of 41 identified facilities.

Results and conclusion. The survey comprised 2 098 residents (54% of them female), representing less than 2% of the estimated population of persons with ID in the province. The survey suggests that such persons experience a wide range of health conditions (notably mental health and behavioural issues) but have limited access to general health care and rehabilitation services. Furthermore, the daily living supports required for an acceptable quality of life are limited. The findings highlight the need for better health and support provision to persons with ID.


Authors' affiliations

Judith A Mckenzie, Disability Studies Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Roy McConkey, Disability Studies Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Institute of Nursing and Health Research, University of Ulster, Belfast, Ireland

Colleen M Adnams, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

intellectual disability; health conditions; support needs; residential facilities

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2013;103(7):481-484. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.6491

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-11-08
Date published: 2013-04-17

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