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Quality improvement of physical health monitoring for people with intellectual disabilities: an integrative review

Edwards, Judith, Mold, Freda Elizabeth, Knivett, David, Boulter, Phil, Firn, Mike and Carey, Nicola (2017) Quality improvement of physical health monitoring for people with intellectual disabilities: an integrative review Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 62 (3). pp. 199-216.

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Physical health needs of people with intellectual disabilities are often overlooked. Inadequate physical health skills (assessment, monitoring) of healthcare professionals working in intellectual disabilities is a barrier to equitable care. Recent reports have called for initiatives to improve training through quality improvement programmes.


An integrative review was undertaken to 1) identify physical health training needs of healthcare professionals 2) identify challenges of implementing quality improvement skills training.


Six electronic databases were searched (January 1990-March 2015) and included if they described the physical health assessment/monitoring skills of healthcare professionals and quality improvement programmes designed to impact the physical health of adults with intellectual disabilities. Articles were appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT).


668 articles were identified, of which 14 were included in the review. Literature was sparse with none reporting training needs of healthcare professionals in intellectual disabilities. Identified training needs of mainstream healthcare professionals included physical assessment, communication, general and syndrome specific knowledge, and health promotion. Quality improvement studies were of limited quality, under evaluated and poorly reported. Lack of staff engagement, role confusion and sustainability were barriers to quality improvement implementation.


Physical health skills of healthcare professionals are key to improving care for people with intellectual disabilities. However, quality improvement is poorly implemented in this area of practice. In order to better meet the needs of this group better implementation and evaluation of intellectual disabilities quality improvement programmes is required.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
Edwards, Judith
Mold, Freda
Knivett, David
Boulter, Phil
Firn, Mike
Date : 29 November 2017
DOI : 10.1111/jir.12447
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research published by MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disibilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Implementation; Quality improvement; Intellectual disabilities; Physical health assessment; Physical health monitoring; Training; Integrative review
Depositing User : Jane Hindle
Date Deposited : 19 Oct 2017 14:48
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:58

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