Mental health problems in children with intellectual disability

Totsika, V. and Liew, A. and Absoud, M. and Adnams, C. and Emerson, E. (2022) Mental health problems in children with intellectual disability. The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, 6 (6). pp. 432-444.

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Intellectual disability ranks in the top ten causes of disease burden globally and is the top cause in children younger than 5 years. 2–3% of children have an intellectual disability, and about 15% of children present with differences consistent with an intellectual disability (ie, global developmental delay and borderline intellectual functioning). In this Review, we discuss the prevalence of mental health problems, interventions to address these, and issues of access to treatment and services. Where possible, we take a global perspective, given most children with intellectual disability live in low-income and middle-income countries. Approximately 40% of children with intellectual disability present with a diagnosable mental disorder, a rate that is at least double that in children without intellectual disability. Most risk factors for poor mental health and barriers to accessing support are not unique to people with intellectual disability. With proportionate universalism as the guiding principle for reducing poor mental health at scale, we discuss four directions for addressing the mental health inequity in intellectual disability.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 6, 6, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00067-0
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16 Jun 2022 15:25
Last Modified:
19 Jan 2023 02:04