Autonomy in relation to health among people with intellectual disability: a literature review

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BackgroundSince the 1990s, individualisation, participation, normalisation and inclusion have been the main principles of care for people with intellectual disability (ID). Autonomy has become an important issue for these people. This review of the literature tried to answer the question: how do people with ID exercise autonomy in relation to health?MethodSearches in Cochrane, Medline and PsycINFO were based on the following aspects of autonomy: self-determination, independence, self-regulation and self-realisation.ResultsThirty-nine of 791 articles met our criteria, including 14 on self-determination, seven on independence, 15 on self-regulation and three on self-realisation.ConclusionsIn spite of decades of promoting autonomy, the exercise of autonomy in relation to health has so far rarely been an issue in the literature.

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