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Living conditions of adults with intellectual disabilities from a gender perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, University Hospital.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Research in Habilitation and Disability.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, ISSN 0964-2633, E-ISSN 1365-2788, Vol. 50, no 5, 326-334 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The role of gender has been a neglected issue in research on intellectual disability (ID). People with ID are generally treated as a homogenous group that are largely categorized by their level of ID. This study compared living conditions of women and men with ID and related the results to similarities and differences among the general population in corresponding age groups. METHODS: Persons with ID born in Uppsala County between 1959 and 1974 constituted the study sample. Information on the living conditions of 110 persons with ID was collected using questionnaires completed by relatives and staff. Information on living conditions of the general population was obtained through national welfare statistics conducted by Statistics Sweden (SCB). RESULTS: In both samples corresponding diversities were revealed for type of employment/daily activities, where women worked in traditional female job sectors and men were occupied with traditional male jobs. Women and men with ID participated to about the same extent in recreational and cultural activities and on only four of the 19 activities listed in the questionnaire (visits to the cinema and library, reading books and practising hobbies alone) significant differences were observed. Among women and men in the general population, we found gender-related differences in 13 of the activities listed. However, with the exception of women more frequently visiting the library and reading books, the two samples demonstrated no corresponding gender-related differences. For the remaining six domains (finances, family and social relations, housing, transport, community participation and personal safety), no differences were noted between women and men with ID. This finding contrasted sharply with the differences found between women and men in the general population. CONCLUSIONS: Surprisingly, the comparison yielded few differences in living conditions between women and men with ID compared with those found in women and men of the general population. This finding suggests that people with ID were treated as gender-neutral persons rather than as women and men with individual preferences and needs. Thus, it appears that having ID is a more important determinant than gender regarding living conditions for women and men with ID.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd , 2006. Vol. 50, no 5, 326-334 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, intellectual disability, living conditions
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-104192DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2005.00779.xISI: 000237226600002PubMedID: 16629926OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-104192DiVA: diva2:219515
Available from: 2009-05-27 Created: 2009-05-27 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Living Conditions of People with Intellectual Disabilities: A Study of Health, Housing, Work, Leisure and Social Relations in a Swedish County Population
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Living Conditions of People with Intellectual Disabilities: A Study of Health, Housing, Work, Leisure and Social Relations in a Swedish County Population
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis is to describe mortality, health and living conditions in an administratively defined county population of people with intellectual disabilities born between 1959 and 1974 (N=213). The living conditions of persons with intellectual disabilities were compared with those of the general population. Moreover, the reports of relatives and staff were compared on the living conditions of people with intellectual disabilities. Information on the living conditions of persons with intellectual disabilities was provided by proxy (relative and staff) questionnaire reports and national welfare statistics conducted by Statistics Sweden (SCB). Medical examination and medical case records were used to obtain data on health and medical services.

People with intellectual disabilities lived in the community and took part in numerous common recreational and cultural activities. However, the comparison with the general population indicated clear differences in living conditions, particularly regarding employment and social life. In contrast, surprisingly little variation in living conditions was found in people with intellectual disabilities, despite varying ages and a wide range of level of disabilities. In addition, gender related differences of persons with intellectual disabilities were few when compared with those found in the general population. A wide range of physical and mental health problems were identified in the group with intellectual disabilities.

Although a majority of persons with intellectual disabilities had access to a family doctor and attended regular health checks, a number of needs of specialist examinations were identified indicating shortcomings in the quality of health care.

Analyses indicated differences in the reports of relatives and staff on living conditions of most domains included in the questionnaire. In general, disagreement was higher on subjective than on objective items. Relative and staff responders contribute dissimilar information that is related to varying viewpoints and different types of information.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 58 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 89
Keyword
Disability studies, intellectual disabilities, living conditions, health conditions, mortality, associated disabilities, gender, comparative study, proxy responding, Handikappforskning
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6143 (URN)91-554-6405-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-12-16, Föreläsningssalen, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-11-25 Created: 2005-11-25 Last updated: 2011-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Umb-Carlsson, ÕieSonnander, Karin

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