INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY EXAMINATIONS AND SOCIAL CONTEXT VARIABLES AMONG PATIENTS OF LOW SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS1,2


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Abstract

Summary.The purpose was to investigate the demographic, clinical, and social context variables of clients seeking intellectual disability screening assessments, so as to promote planning and development of services in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands region of South Africa. Of 100 consecutive attendees seeking intellectual disability examinations at state mental health facilities, 70% were male and 70% were less than 18 years of age. 51% had Moderate or Severe Mental Retardation, 52% lived in homes with more than six people, and 52% in homes where nobody was employed. Of participants' families, 85% relied on social grants, 46% of attendees or caregivers wanted a social grant, 28% hoped for appropriate school placement, and 17% wanted both. Of the participants' households, 26% reported going without food for days. The results are discussed within the context of the regional social deprivation.

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