The research on the status, rehabilitation, education, vocational development, social integration and support services related to intellectual disability in China

Res Dev Disabil. 2010 Nov-Dec;31(6):1216-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2010.07.024. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


Intellectual disability (ID) is a prevalent form of non-progressive cognitive impairment. The objectives of this articles are: to analyze the changes of ID in China, including its definition, prevalence, rehabilitation, education, vocational development, social life and support services; to review and to compare the issues of intellectual disability in China with the international literatures and research studies and to provide useful updated information and reference data for scholars and researchers who study intellectual disability. Analyzed the data obtained from two national sample surveys on disability with respect to intellectual disability in China. The estimated prevalence of individuals with intellectual disabilities in China was 7.5‰ in 2006 nationally which was lower than the previous results obtained in the 1987 national survey. The fourth level of ID showed a downward trend, while the proportion among the population aged 60 and over with ID tended to increase. The 2006 national survey indicated that the prevalence of ID in rural areas was higher than that in urban areas. This finding was consistent with the national survey conducted in 1987. As indicated by the 2006 national survey, 29.4% cases had no known causes for the ID, the proportion tended to decrease as compared with the first survey. However, when compared to the 1987 report, the proportion of senile dementia among older people as indicated by the 2006 report was higher than before. During the past years, the prevention of ID and the quality of life of individuals with ID have improved due to the enactment and implementation of a series of national laws and regulations, however, there is more that needs to be done in the areas of education, vocational development, social integration and support services for individuals with ID in order to improve the quality of life of individuals with ID in China. The findings of this study are consistent with the research findings presented in the international literatures. ID is the conditions that deserve further study and deserve the attention of policy makers and rehabilitation professionals in China. Furthermore, with the ageing of population in China and its impact to the social security system, the in-depth study of ID and its implications has become more pertinent in China in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asian People / statistics & numerical data*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Education of Intellectually Disabled / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability / ethnology*
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult