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Comprehensive health assessments during de-institutionalisation: An observational study

By Therese Rey-Conde, Nicholas Lennox and Nicholas Cooling


Background: People with intellectual disability leaving institutions pass through a transition stage that makes them vulnerable to inadequate health care. They pass into community care under General Practitioners that are often untrained and inexperienced in their needs. Specifically designed health reviews may be of assistance to both them and their new GPs as they go through that phase. Method: This research aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a specially designed health review, the CHAP health review, in a group of adults as they transitioned out of the care of the last institution for people with intellectual disability in Tasmania. There were 25 residents reviewed by their GPs. Results: The CHAP reviews picked up a number of health conditions that possibly would not have been noted without it. Some of the findings were: a high number of abnormal BMIs (19 / 23), immunisations given (13 / 23), vision impairment reported (2 / 23), mental health issues recorded (4 / 23), and skin abnormalities described (17 / 23). There were 22 referrals made to other health professionals (Australian Hearing Service 4, dentists 3, optometrists 3, psychiatrists 2, neurologists 2, ophthalmologist 1, urologist 1, ultrasound 1, mammogram 1, family planning 1, physiotherapist 1, continence nurse 1 and respiratory physician 1). These were in additional to various requests for pathology. Conclusions: The CHAP health review was effective in detecting a number of health issues in the population of people with intellectual disability as they transitioned out of Institutional care into the general community

Topics: Intellectual disability, Health screening, Health review, Primary care, Health promotion, 321202 Epidemiology, 321211 Residential Client Care, 321212 Care for Disabled, 321216 Health Promotion
Year: 2005
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