The relationship between physical ill-health and mental ill-health in adults with intellectual disabilities

Dunham, A., Kinnear, D. , Allan, L., Smiley, E. and Cooper, S.-A. (2018) The relationship between physical ill-health and mental ill-health in adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 62(5), pp. 444-453. (doi:10.1111/jir.12483) (PMID:29532540)

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Abstract

Background: People with intellectual disabilities face a much greater burden and earlier onset of physical and mental ill‐health than the general adult population. Physical–mental comorbidity has been shown to result in poorer outcomes in the general population, but little is known about this relationship in adults with intellectual disabilities. Aims: To identify whether physical ill‐health is associated with mental ill‐health in adults with intellectual disabilities and whether the extent of physical multi‐morbidity can predict the likelihood of mental ill‐health. To identify any associations between types of physical ill‐health and mental ill‐health. Method: A total of 1023 adults with intellectual disabilities underwent comprehensive health assessments. Binary logistic regressions were undertaken to establish any association between the independent variables: total number of physical health conditions, physical conditions by International Classification of Disease‐10 chapter and specific physical health conditions; and the dependent variables: problem behaviours, mental disorders of any type. All regressions were adjusted for age, gender, level of intellectual disabilities, living arrangements, neighbourhood deprivation and Down syndrome. Results: The extent of physical multi‐morbidity was not associated with mental ill‐health in adults with intellectual disabilities as only 0.8% of the sample had no physical conditions. Endocrine disease increased the risk of problem behaviours [odds ratio (OR): 1.22, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02–1.47], respiratory disease reduced the risk of problem behaviours (OR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.54–0.99) and mental ill‐health of any type (OR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.58–0.92), and musculoskeletal disease reduced the risk of mental ill‐health of any type (OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73–0.98). Ischaemic heart disease increased the risk of problem behaviours approximately threefold (OR: 3.29, 95% CI: 1.02–10.60). Conclusions: The extent of physical multi‐morbidity in the population with intellectual disabilities is overwhelming, such that associations are not found with mental ill‐health. Mental health interventions and preventative measures are essential for the entire population with intellectual disabilities and should not be focussed on subgroups based on overall health burden.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smiley, Dr Elita and Kinnear, Dr Deborah and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann and Allan, Mrs Linda
Authors: Dunham, A., Kinnear, D., Allan, L., Smiley, E., and Cooper, S.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0964-2633
ISSN (Online):1365-2788
Published Online:12 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities andJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
First Published:First published in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 62(5):444-453
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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