Exploring the Theoretical Frameworks of Health Promotion for People with Intellectual Disabilities

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Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the theoretical frameworks of health promotion for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Method: A qualitative methodology was employed. Thirteen semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken with a range of international academic, research and clinical experts in the field of health promotion to explore the theoretical frameworks of this topic applied to people with ID. Nine focus groups were then undertaken with staff, families and services users to ascertain their understanding of health promotion. Interviews were analysed using Newell and Burnard’s thematic content analysis Framework.Results: A number of inter-related themes were identified: the facilitation of health promotion; enablement and the need for knowledge and personalisation; advocacy through sharing & collaboration; and mediation and the need to challenge attitudes to ensure equality.Conclusion: Health promotion involves the combination of a top-down approach to develop public policy and re-orient the focus of health services. Although a bottom-up approach is also required to develop the personal skills of all (service users, families, staff, healthcare practitioners and the wider community) to strengthen community support. These findings highlight the lack of a health promotion theoretical framework that is required to improve the health of people with ID.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 2014


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