healthcare transitions, intellectual disability and healthcare



  1. Brown, Marisa C. MSN, RN
  2. Censullo, Meredith MSN, PhD, ANP


People with intellectual disabilities represent 1.25% of the US population. Over the past 50 years, improvements in medical treatments have extended the life expectancy of this population, including those with genetic syndromes. Therefore, this population is faced with living with all of the chronic health issues experienced by the general population. With the consistent increase in the number of people with intellectual disabilities served in community-based settings, it has become the responsibility of service providers to be able to address these health needs. Hospitalizations and the resulting discharge to home or an extended care facility are periods of time when individuals with intellectual disabilities are particularly vulnerable to lapses in communication that can result in poor health outcomes. It is imperative for protocols to be in place that ensure safe transitions while supporting maximum independence and self-determination.