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The general picture of supportive health environments for persons with intellectual disabilities among 121 disability welfare institutions in Taiwan


Dr Jin-Ding Lin, School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, no. 161, Ming-Chuan E. Road., Section 6, Nei-Hu, Taipei 114, Taiwan (e-mail:


Background  Little information is available on the provision of supportive health environments for persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) in institutions. The aim of this study was to present an overview of supportive environments for health in institutions in Taiwan.

Methods  A cross-sectional survey was conducted to examine the perceptions of 121 Taiwanese Institutional Directors on their setting's implementation of supportive healthy physical, social, and economic environments.

Results  Analyses showed that first-aid kits (97.5%) and medicine cabinets (85.5%) were the most common health facilities in institutions. Seventy-three per cent of institutions had set up specific areas to be used for rehabilitation practice, while only 43.1% thought their rehabilitation equipment/devices adequate for their real needs. Eighty-eight per cent of institutions implemented health promotion plans for people with ID, while 76.6% had appropriated specific health promotion plans. Sixty-three institutions (52.1%) reported employment of skilled nurses to serve people with ID, and these institutions showed statistically significant differences in implementation of each health facility.

Conclusions  The present paper is the first to analyze supportive environments for health in disability institutions in Taiwan. An important focus of future research will be the extension of the present findings to consider the appropriateness of each area of supportive environments for improving the quality of institutional care for people with ID.

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