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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

MIRON CANELO, José Antonio; ALONSO SARDON, Montserrat; LOPEZ DE LAS HAZAS, Alberto Serrano  and  SAENZ GONZALEZ, María del Carmen. Health-related quality of life among people with intellectual disabilities in Spain. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.5, pp. 336-344. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008001100006.

OBJECTIVE: To measure health-related quality-of-life (HRQL) among people with intellectual disabilities in the province of Salamanca, Spain. METHODS: A population-based, cross-sectional descriptive study. The SF-36 Health Survey, adapted and validated for the Spanish population, was selected and administered to 265 people with intellectual disabilities in the province of Salamanca, Spain. Personal interviews were also conducted with the participants in the presence of their parents, tutors, or close family. Eight quality-of-life scales were explored: general health, physical functioning, role-physical, bodily pain, role-emotional, social functioning, vitality, and mental health, based on questions on sociodemographic and lifestyle variables, health services utilization, support needs, and health status and HRQL. RESULTS: Of the 265 people studied, 69.8% were men and 30.2% were women (median age: 35 years; minimum: 16; maximum: 72). The highest number of points pertained to role-physical and physical functioning (more than 85 points), and the lowest, to general health and vitality (less than 70 points). No significant differences were found between men and women for any of the eight components. The independent variables, age, family income, level of education, and support needs showed the greatest number of independent associations with the general health, physical functioning, and social functioning components. Of the participants, 41.5% indicated that they felt their health was good. CONCLUSIONS: The study participants perceived their HRQL to be good, especially on the role-physical and physical functioning scales. Additional studies should be designed to evaluate HRQL in people with different degrees of intellectual disability to further contribute to intervention efforts and health and social programs designed specifically for this population group and to evaluate the interventions and program already underway.

Keywords : Mentally disabled persons; disabled health; quality of life; Spain.

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