Prevalence of intellectual disabilities in Norway: Domestic variance

Authors

  • E. Søndenaa,

    Corresponding author
    1. St Olavs Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset, Trondheim, Norway
    2. National Institute of Intellectual Disability and Community, Trondheim, Norway
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  • K. Rasmussen,

    1. St Olavs Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset, Trondheim, Norway
    2. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Psychology, Trondheim, Norway
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  • J. A. Nøttestad,

    1. St Olavs Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset, Trondheim, Norway
    2. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Neuromedicine, Trondheim, Norway
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  • C. Lauvrud

    1. St Olavs Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset, Trondheim, Norway
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Mr Erik Søndenaa, St Olavs Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset, Postbox 1803, Lade 7440, Norway (e-mail: erikson@ntnu.no).

Abstract

Background  Based on national registers, the prevalence of intellectual disability (ID) in Norway is estimated to be 0.44 per 100 inhabitants. This study aimed to examine geographic and urban–rural differences in the prevalence of ID in Norway.

Methods  A survey based on the national register. Financial transfers intended to provide equal services to people with ID are based on these reports.

Results  A higher prevalence was found in the North region of Norway. A negative correlation between the population density and the prevalence of ID was also found.

Conclusion  There was considerable geographic and urban–rural differences in the prevalence of ID, which may be attributable to not only the large diversity of services, but also some other factors. The results were discussed with respect to the deinstitutionalisation progress, resource-intensive services and costs. Differences also reflect some problems in diagnosing ID in people having mild ID.

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