The Science of Health and Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
University of Montana Rural Institute researchers are helping to set a national agenda on health and disability. Dr. Kathleen Humphries, a nutrition researcher at the Rural Institute and the UM School of Public and Community Health Sciences is among national leaders identifying what we know and what we need to know to reduce health disparities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A national team, including Dr. Humphries, met at the 2012 State of the Science Conference on Outcomes and Quality of Life in Community Living and Employment in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
As a result, the team co-authored an article entitled The State of Science of Health and Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities journal. The article is available through ScholarWorks on UM’s website: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/ruralinst_pubs/.
The authors found that historically, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have experienced health disparities related to poverty, race, gender, and aging; and lack of access to high quality medical and dental care and to public health and other wellness programs. Additionally, people with IDD need more efficient, cost-effective ways to access health and wellness activities to prevent or treat obesity and other chronic health conditions. Targeted training of health care providers to meet the specific needs of persons with IDD is also warranted.
According to the Rural Institute’s Executive Director Martin Blair, “We are proud to have researchers like Dr. Humphries guiding the national priorities for research and funding, in their respective fields. It puts the University of Montana in the forefront of national discussions. We are not responding to the national research agenda; we are setting it.”