Prevalence of mental health conditions, sensory impairments and physical disability in people with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism compared with other people: a cross-sectional total population study in Scotland

Dunn, K., Rydzewska, E. , Fleming, M. and Cooper, S.-A. (2020) Prevalence of mental health conditions, sensory impairments and physical disability in people with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism compared with other people: a cross-sectional total population study in Scotland. BMJ Open, 10(4), e035280. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035280)

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Abstract

Objectives: To investigate prevalence of mental health conditions, sensory impairments and physical disability in children, adults and older adults with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism, given its frequent co-occurrence, compared with the general population. Design: Whole country cohort study. Setting: General community. Participants: 5709 people with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism, compared with 5 289 694 other people. Outcome measures: Rates and ORs with 95% CIs for mental health conditions, visual impairment, hearing impairment and physical disability in people with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism compared with other people, adjusted for age, sex and interaction between age and co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism. Results: All four long-term conditions were markedly more common in children, adults and older adults with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism compared with other people. For mental health, OR=130.8 (95% CI 117.1 to 146.1); visual impairment OR=65.9 (95% CI 58.7 to 73.9); hearing impairment OR=22.0 (95% CI 19.2 to 25.2); and physical disability OR=157.5 (95% CI 144.6 to 171.7). These ratios are also greater than previously reported for people with either intellectual disabilities or autism rather than co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism. Conclusions: We have quantified the more than double disadvantage for people with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism, in terms of additional long-term health conditions. This may well impact on quality of life. It raises challenges for staff working with these people in view of additional complexity in assessments, diagnoses and interventions of additional health conditions, as sensory impairments and mental health conditions in particular, compound with the persons pre-existing communication and cognitive problems in this context. Planning is important, with staff being trained, equipped, resourced and prepared to address the challenge of working for people with these conditions.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dunn, Mrs Kirsty and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann and Fleming, Dr Michael and Rydzewska, Dr Ewelina
Authors: Dunn, K., Rydzewska, E., Fleming, M., and Cooper, S.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2044-6055
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:26 April 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 10(4): e035280
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
302957Mental Health Data PathfinderDaniel SmithMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_17217HW - Mental Health and Wellbeing