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Injuries, accidents and falls in adults with learning disabilities and their carers: a prospective cohort study

Finlayson, Janet (2011) Injuries, accidents and falls in adults with learning disabilities and their carers: a prospective cohort study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Injuries are among the leading causes of death and disability in the world and a major public health concern. Young persons with learning disabilities have a higher rate and different pattern of injuries when compared with young persons without learning disabilities, but little is known regarding adults. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and types of injuries experienced by a community-based cohort of adults with learning disabilities (n = 511). Face-to-face interviews were conducted with participants and their carers two years after they had first been recruited into a longitudinal study. The measures were based on those previously used with a large population-based sample (n = 6,104) in the Scottish Health Survey (2003). Results were compared between the adults with learning disabilities and the general population. Incidence of at least one injury that required medical or nursing attention or treatment in a 12-month period was 20.5% (105), of which 12.1% (62) was due to falls. The standardised incident injury ratio for adults with learning disabilities aged 18 - 64 years, compared with the regional general population aged 18 – 64 years, is 1.63 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.55 – 1.71). The types and causes of injuries experienced differed from those found in the general population. Incident injury was predicted by having epilepsy (odds ratio (OR) 1.809), and not having autism (OR 0.153). Incident fall injury was predicted by urinary incontinence (OR 1.976), whilst Down syndrome reduced risk (OR 0.416). Carers of adults with learning disabilities (n = 446) were less likely to experience at least one injury in a 12-month period overall, but they were significantly more likely to experience harmful injury from another person (p = 0.048), and less likely to experience injury through the use of a tool, implement or equipment (p = 0.045), when compared with the regional general population. These findings are first steps towards understanding the considerable burden of injuries, accidents and falls in the learning disabilities population, and towards informing interventions to prevent injuries and falls in adults with learning disabilities in the future. The types and causes of injury experienced by carers of adults with learning disabilities are also reported for the first time.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Learning Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Injuries, Accidents, Falls, Carers' Injuries
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Cooper, Prof. Sally-Ann
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Dr Janet Finlayson
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2722
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:59
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2722

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