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Intellectual disability in homeless adults:A prevalence study

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities , Volume 12 (4): 325 – Dec 1, 2008


Sage Publications
Copyright © 2008 by SAGE Publications
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Intellectual disability in homeless adults:A prevalence study


There has been considerable recent interest in the health and associated socio-economic inequalities faced by adults with learning disabilities. A serious and so far under-reported aspect of this is homelessness. This study sought to determine the prevalence of intellectual disability in a homeless population. Fifty people registered at a general practice in north-east England for socially excluded groups, and staying in temporary accommodation for the homeless during 2006—7, were assessed for learning disability. Full-scale and verbal IQ scores for the group were significantly lower than would be expected in the general population, but there was no significant difference in performance IQ. Homeless people are significantly more likely to have an intellectual disability than the general population. The implications for practice and policy development are far reaching. Further work is required to confirm these findings and to explore the experience of homeless people with intellectual disability.
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