There is a growing body of evidence that-when compared to people without intellectual disabilities-people with intellectual disabilities more frequently experience poor health and unmet healthcare needs. However, there is limited scientific understanding about the causes of these disparities. As a result, a systematic approach to studying these disparities and comprehensive national health surveillance for the population with intellectual disabilities are needed (Krahn et al, 2010). The objective of the proposed project is to inform efforts to (a) improve the capacity of current health surveillance systems to track the health and healthcare of people with intellectual disabilities and (b) increase the effectiveness of health-related practices, services, and programs that influence the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. To achieve this overall aim, this project will purse four specific aims: (1) identify the set of valid and reliable data sources that maximize the qualiy of information (e.g., population-based statistics and research findings), given the needs of the target audience (i.e., public health practitioners, administrators, and researchers) and the strengths and weaknesses of existing data;(2) identify an array of key variables to facilitate the study of the factors associated with disparities between the populations with and without intellectual disabilities;(3) develop and estimate empirical models that identify the factors associated with disparities between the populations with and without intellectual disabilities;and (4) disseminate the results of our activities to public health practitioners, administrators, and researchers (i.e., the projects target audience) in a manner that facilitates their efforts to redue health disparities between people with and without intellectual disabilities and improve data collection.

Public Health Relevance

Project Relevance Document Understanding the Factors Associated with the Health Disparities Experienced by People with Intellectual Disabilities Current research suggests that people with intellectual disabilities experience poorer health and that current public health and health care systems do not adequately monitor or address their needs. This project expands upon current research by examining the factors associated with these disparities, in order to inform future changes to health policies, programs, and practices.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDD1)
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University of New Hampshire
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United States
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