Psychosocial Factors Affecting Adults With Intellectual Disabilities With Psychiatric Disorders in Cali, Colombia


  • This study project was financed through a grant from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia

Miguel Ángel Verdugo, University of Salamanca, Institute for Community Inclusion, Av. Merced 109-131, Salamanca 37005, Spain. Tel: +34 923 249126; Fax: +34 923 294685; E-mail:


Increases in life expectancy have heightened concerns for people with intellectual disability (ID) who are growing old and who have be designated as “dually diagnosed”—that is, who have, apart from their ID, a psychiatric disorder, and who because of this conjoint condition, are subjected to social exclusion due to three factors: old age, cognitive limitation, and mental illness. The objective of this study was to describe the psychosocial factors associated with the comorbidity between ID and psychiatric disorder of adults in the city of Cali, Colombia. Subjects were 50 dyads consisting of a carer and a person with ID. The Caregivers Questionnaire and the Integral Quality of Life Scale were adapted for use in the study. The analysis of information was based on three factors: person, family, and society. In the case of the personal factor, an adequate level of physical well-being and a good level of self-care were found in more than 60% of the adults with dual diagnosis, good adherence to treatment in 82%, and medium satisfaction in the individual-context relationship in 54%. With regard to the family factor, a high level of satisfaction of needs (84%) was found. Good family functioning was observed in 86%, while family participation in rehabilitation was reported to be between moderate and deficient in 60% of the cases. With respect to the social factor, cases of support between moderate and deficient were found in 68%, and a regular inclusion was observed in 48%. The authors conclude that the family functioning aspect appeared as the major protective factor, while the inclusion and social support were shown as the main risk factors.