Annual health checks can improve health care for adults with developmental disabilities

Adults with developmental disabilities have more health problems than other adults and more difficulties accessing health care. The 2011 Canadian Consensus Guidelines for the Primary Care of Adults with Developmental Disabilities, supported by international research, recommend that adults with developmental disabilities have annual comprehensive preventive health reviews to identify and manage health concerns.

The “Health Check” has been described as the most important investment in the primary health care of people with developmental disabilities in the 21st century. Yet, in Ontario, only one in five adults with developmental disabilities receives a “Health Check.”

The Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD) program offered support to three Family Health Teams in different regions of Ontario to implement “Health Checks”, and evaluated factors needed for successful implementation. The intervention includes: 1) identifying patients with developmental disabilities in the practice; 2) inviting them in for a Health Check, and; 3) enabling the health review to be more consistent with guidelines.

Read this H-CARDD Snapshot to learn about the results. 

This H-CARDD Snapshot is useful for provincial bodies supporting Health Check implementation as well as family health teams and other primary care providers interested in improving their practices for patients with developmental disabilities.

H-CARDD Snapshots present summaries of research in the field of developmental disabilities. You can also view the video below. And check out this Emergency Care Tool Kit.

H-CARDD is a research program with the primary goal of enhancing the overall health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities through improved health care policy and services. H-CARDD research is conducted by dedicated teams of scientists, policymakers, and health care providers.