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Healthy lifestyle for people with intellectual disabilities through a health intervention program

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2012.23024    5,247 Downloads   9,237 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

There are well known gaps related to health care service and public health interventions for people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID), but there is still lack of research information of what nurses can do to reducing health disparities of persons with ID. The present study aimed at exploring the views of people with ID about a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and to take part in a health promotion program. A qualitative method was an appropriate method for capturing the informants’ points of view. Participants were adults with intellectual disability who would be able to give their consent verbally and in written form. Women (n = 7) and men (n = 6). Data were collected from focus group interviews and analysed according to a qualitative content analysis of the tape-recorded and verbatim transcribed interviews. The participants took part in four workshops about healthy food, and ten physical activities addressing the connection to physical, social and emotional health. The results of the focus group interviews show that participants have knowledge about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for good health including physical activity and healthy food. Participants also describe social interaction and self-determination as important aspects in their life. It could then be concluded that the health promotion program result point at consciousness about a healthy lifestyle. There is still lack of research information of what public health nurses can do to reducing health disparities of persons with ID. Public health nurses work in community-based services and therefore they also might support persons with ID through health intervention programs.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Lorentzen, B. and Wikström, B. (2012) Healthy lifestyle for people with intellectual disabilities through a health intervention program. Open Journal of Nursing, 2, 157-164. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2012.23024.

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