Transition


How transition to adulthood affects health and wellbeing in young people with learning disabilities

 

Background

Transition to adulthood might be a risk period for poor health in people with intellectual disabilities. However, we could find no synthesis of evidence on health and wellbeing outcomes during transition in this population. This review aimed to answer this question.

Method

PRISMA/MOOSE guidelines were followed. Search terms were defined, electronic searches of six databases were conducted, reference lists and key journals were reviewed and grey literature was searched. Papers were selected based on clear inclusion criteria. Data was extracted from the selected papers, and their quality was systematically reviewed. The review was prospectively registered on PROSPERO: CRD42015016905.

Results

15,985 articles were extracted; of these 17 met the inclusion criteria. The results of these articles were mixed but suggested the presence of some health and wellbeing issues in this population during transition to adulthood, including obesity and sexual health issues.

Conclusion

This review reveals a gap in the literature on transition and health, and points to the need for future work in this area.

Link to abstract

A poster on this project is available to view.

The impact of transition on health and wellbeing in young people with learning disabilities: Qualitative study

 

Aims

Transition from school may be a period of vulnerability for young people with learning disabilities. Within the literature poor outcomes across employment, independent living and social domains are documented. A recently-conducted systematic review revealed a gap in the literature on transition and health and wellbeing outcomes in this population. This study aimed to gain insights into the transition experiences of young people with learning disabilities through semi-structured interviews with young people and their parents.  

Method

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 young people with learning disabilities aged 16-27, and 23 parents of young people with learning disabilities aged 16-26. The interviews explored whether the experience of transition had affected young people’s health and wellbeing, in what particular ways, and what services were useful in supporting a healthy transition. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis through Nvivo software.  

Results

The key health impact of transition on young people was on mental health, with young people experiencing high levels of anxiety during the transition period, and often exhibiting challenging behaviours as a result. Themes identified as contributing to these mental health difficulties included a lack of appropriate daytime activity following school exit; inadequate supports and services during transition; and the struggle to adjust to expectations for more ‘grown up’ behaviour.

Conclusion

Transition planning should be better supported and started earlier in a young person’s school career in order to ease anxiety for young people and their families during this difficult period.

For further information on this project, please contact Genevieve Young-Southward

A poster on this project is available to view.

Transition and health and wellbeing in young people with learning disabilities: Secondary analysis of Scotland’s Census (2011)

 

Background

Transition to adulthood may be a period of vulnerability for health for individuals with intellectual disabilities. No large-scale studies have compared the health of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities undergoing transition. The aims of this study were (1) to compare health during transition for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities across a whole country population, and (2) to establish whether transition is associated with health in the population with intellectual disabilities. 

Method

Data were drawn from Scotland’s Census, 2011. Frequency data were calculated for young people with and without intellectual disabilities. Logistic regressions were used to determine the extent to which intellectual disabilities account for seven health outcomes (general health; mental health; physical disabilities; hearing impairment; visual impairment; long-term illness; day-to-day activity limitations), adjusted for age and gender. Within the intellectual disabilities population, logistic regressions were then used to determine whether age group (13-18 years or 19-24 years) is associated with the seven health outcomes, adjusted by gender.

Results

5,556/815,889 young people aged 13-24 years had intellectual disabilities. Those with intellectual disabilities were 9.6-125.0 times more likely to have poor health on the seven outcomes. Within the population with intellectual disabilities, the 19-24 year olds with intellectual disabilities were more likely to have mental health problems than the 13-18 year olds, but did not have poorer health on the other outcomes.

Conclusion

This largest-to-date study quantifies the extent of the substantial health disparities experienced by young people with intellectual disabilities compared to people without intellectual disabilities. The young population with intellectual disabilities have substantial health problems, therefore transition between child and adult services must be carefully planned in order to ensure that existing health conditions are managed and emerging problems minimised.  

For further information on this project, please contact Genevieve Young-Southward

A poster on this project is available to view.