Prevalence and health problems of individuals with an intellectual disability in primary care

general practice primary care intellectual disability

T. Fokkema

Nature of the research:
For this study, a search in the AHON-database of the department of General Practice and Elderly Medicine of the UMCG will be performed. This database contains anonymized medical records of the patients of about 50 general practitioners (GP). Information on the number of registered patients with an intellectual disability (ID), number of GP-consultations, applied treatments/referrals and prescribed medication is obtained. Using these data, a paper on the prevalence and health problems of individuals with ID in primary care will be written.

Fields of study:
epidemiology GP medicine

Background / introduction
About 1% of the Dutch population has an ID1. Since individuals with ID nowadays live more at home or in small communal groups instead of in large institutions, GPs are often the primary contact for their health problems. However, Dutch GPs indicated that they are struggling with the care for individuals with ID and need more teaching and guidance2,3. This guidance is often not available, because of a shortage of ID physicians in the Netherlands4. A first step towards improving GP-care for individuals with ID, it is important to know how many patients with an ID GPs on average have. It is also important to know how often and for what health complaints individuals with ID visit their GP.
Research question / problem definition
What are the prevalence and health problems of individuals with an ID in primary care?
1 Wullink M, van Schojenstein Lantman-de Valk HMJ, Dinant GJ, Metsemakers JFM. Prevalence of people with intellectual disability in the Netherlands. J Intellect Disabil Res 2007; 51(7):511-9.
2 Bekkema N, de Veer A, Francke A. Zorgen over patiënten met verstandelijke beperking. Huisarts Wet 2014; 57: 259.
3 Bakker-van Gijssel EJ, Hartman TC, Lucassen PL, et al. GPs’ opinions of health assessment instruments for people with intellectual disabilities: a qualitative study. Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67(654): e41–e8.
4 Lambregtse C. Huisartsen kunnen tekort aan AVG-artsen niet oplossen. De dokter 2019; 6: 8-11.
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