New voices in women's health: perceptions of women with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Intellect Dev Disabil. 2009 Oct;47(5):337-47. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-47.5.337.


This study explored aging and health experiences and concerns of women with intellectual and developmental disabilities, using a participatory approach that captured the direct reports of the women, in their own words and from their own perspectives. The results of a qualitative analysis of 6 focus groups, composed of 34 women with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Age 30 years and older are reported. The focus groups addressed health knowledge, body awareness,developmental and age-related changes, life satisfaction, health behaviors, health service experiences, and perceptions of disability. Findings indicated that the women held misconceptions and limited knowledge regarding health and aging. The results are discussed in relation to disability, women's health, and social support issues, including recommendations for health professionals and care providers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Awareness
  • Body Image
  • Child
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology*
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Prejudice
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Women's Health*