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Physical health in adults with severe or profound intellectual and motor disabilities

PhD ceremony:Ms E.A. (Dinette) van Timmeren
When:March 11, 2019
Start:16:15
Supervisors:prof. dr. C.P. (Cees) van der Schans, H.M.J. van Schrojenstein Lantman-De Valk, prof. dr. A.A.J. (Annette) van der Putten
Co-supervisor:dr. A. Waninge
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Physical health in adults with severe or profound intellectual and
motor disabilities

Physical health in adults with severe or profound intellectual and motor disabilities.

Physical health problems are common in people with severe or profound intellectual and motor disabilities (SPIMD). These health problems may lead to discomfort and pain, and reduce quality of life. Early identification and treatment may prevent worsening and complications.

For the identification of physical health problems, people with SPIMD are dependent on others. It is often only a change in behavior which indicates that a person with SPIMD is experiencing a health problem. Therefore, it is important that parents or direct support staff are aware of physical health problems that are common. Furthermore, it is important that valid measurement methods are used for the identification of physical health problems.

Knowledge regarding the frequency and identification of physical health problems may help daily caregivers to detect these problems early. The general aim of this thesis is to gain knowledge about the prevalence and identification of physical health problems in adults with SPIMD.

This thesis shows that adults with SIPMD simultaneously encounter numerous serious physical health problems. Therefore, direct support staff should have knowledge of physical health problems and should be well trained in identifying them. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding the reliability and validity of the measurement methods for the identification of physical health problems in adults with SPIMD.

The results reported in this thesis can provide a preliminary base for determining which measurement method, to identify physical health problems, should be developed and/or evaluated.