Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Landmark study finds adult Delawareans with disabilities in only 'fair to poor health'

27.07.2007
One of every seven adult Delawareans has at least one disability, and the general health of these residents with disabilities is only “fair” to “poor,” according to a landmark study conducted by University of Delaware researchers.

The two-year study, one of the first to assess the health of Delaware adults with all types of disabilities, including physical, sensory, cognitive, and learning impairments, is a key component of the Healthy Delawareans with Disabilities 2010 Project of Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities Services.

The study's findings and recommendations are published in the 56-page Delaware Health Status Report for Persons with Disabilities, which will now serve as a tool for state agencies, policy makers, community organizations, health-care providers and families to improve the welfare of the state's adults with disabilities.

“For the first time, we have an understanding of the health status of adults with disabilities in Delaware,” Ilka Riddle, a researcher at UD's Center for Disabilities Studies, said. Riddle, who received her doctorate in human development and family studies at UD, coordinated the project, which involved several of the center's faculty and staff, as well as policy specialists at UD's Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research.

“The results of this study show that the health of Delaware adults with disabilities is not in a good state, and there are services that are needed to help these citizens live healthier lives than they are currently,” Riddle noted.

The study's 339 participants were recruited from state service enrollment lists, health-care facilities and health fairs. The majority (70 percent) were from New Castle County, with 19 percent from Kent County and nearly 11 percent from Sussex County. Most were unemployed or unable to work and earned less than $15,000 per year.

The participants were asked a series of survey questions by trained interviewers. Among the findings of most concern, Riddle said, were the number of respondents (72 percent) who reported that they are overweight or obese. Almost 50 percent do not engage in any type of physical activity, and most do not eat the daily amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Additionally, the respondents had a higher incidence of secondary health conditions, including high cholesterol (47 percent), high blood pressure (45 percent), arthritis (40 percent) and diabetes (21 percent) than the general Delaware population.

Perhaps most troubling, nearly a third (31 percent) of the women responding to questions about sexual assault indicated that they had been sexually assaulted or had experienced an attempted sexual assault (27 percent). The perpetrators included acquaintances, neighbors, former significant others and strangers.

“These data are of great concern,” Riddle said, “and we are examining this information very closely.”

While the survey identified a number of serious issues requiring attention, there also were some bright spots, according to Riddle.

"Most of the respondents receive preventative health care,” she noted. “And the majority reported that they are not treated differently by others, which is a plus.”

Almost all of the respondents (97 percent) have a primary health-care provider, and 91 percent receive regular check-ups. However, a number of respondents also reported challenges to obtaining health care, including lack of transportation (16 percent), difficulty accessing buildings where health care is provided (11 percent), cost (10 percent), access to health-care equipment (9 percent) and unavailability of health-care services (6 percent).

A large majority of respondents (80 percent) indicated they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their lives, while almost 20 percent are “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.”

Individuals with mental health conditions reported the highest percentage (32 percent) of dissatisfaction. They also feel they are treated differently by others in comparison to the majority of survey respondents who do not feel they are being singled out because of their disability.

“Although they were the smallest group in our survey, the individuals with mental health conditions stood out as the most unhealthy physically and emotionally,” Riddle said. “They definitely have some needs regarding an improved quality of life.”

Caregivers play a critical role in the lives of Delawareans with disabilities. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents indicated they need help with routine tasks such as household chores and shopping, and about a third require assistance with eating, bathing and dressing.

Most caregivers are family members, and about a third are paid professional staff. Of the 66 caregivers who were present during the interviews, almost 40 percent indicated that caregiving responsibilities do not leave enough time for themselves, are a financial burden (22 percent) and are stressful (12 percent).

All the findings and 14 recommendations in health education and awareness are published in the project's final report.

The report also is providing important data for the Delaware State Implementation Project for Preventing Secondary Conditions and Promoting the Health of People with Disabilities, which is now under way at UD's Center for Disabilities Studies. Riddle is the project's director, and James Salt is the principal investigator. The project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control.

Tracey Bryant | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows

29.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Researchers discover dust plays prominent role in nutrients of mountain forest ecoystems

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

OLED production facility from a single source

29.03.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>