Health care service provision for country people with developmental disability: an Australian perspective

Res Dev Disabil. 2004 May-Jun;25(3):265-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2003.09.001.


Priorities in the delivery of health care to Australian country people with developmental disability were explored through focus groups and interviews of key stakeholder groups from four rural/regional towns. Data were analysed for themes, which converged on lack of access to primary health care providers who lacked knowledge about and had poor attitudes towards developmental disability, discriminatory practices, the burden on support people, and communication difficulties between GPs and people with developmental disability. Potential strategies to address the apparent dissatisfaction with primary health care and GP concerns about working with this group were also evident in the data. In particular, open communication between stakeholders as a mechanism for collaborative problem solving and a strategy to avoid burn out for both support people and GPs is recommended. Facilitation of such communication can best occur through undergraduate training and participation of disability workers in activities of organisations that support GPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Developmental Disabilities / rehabilitation*
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physicians, Family
  • Prejudice
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population