Background: Systematic reviews are important in evaluating evidence concerning the health of people with intellectual disabilities. This study conducts a systematic review to identify strengths and gaps in this evidence.
Method: Electronic literature searches and email requests identified systematic reviews published in English from 2008 to 2013 on the health or health care of people with intellectual disabilities. Reviews were categorized using ICD-10 chapter headings and information extracted regarding methods, number of studies reviewed and findings.
Results: Ninety-four reviews were identified: 52 related to ICD-10 Chapter V: Mental or behavioural disorders, 28 to Chapter XXI: Factors influencing health status and contact with services, and 14 related to other chapters or encompassed multiple chapters. Nine reviews were 'empty'. No reviews were found for many ICD-10 chapter headings.
Conclusions: Systematic reviews are heavily weighted towards mental health, with little coverage of several areas important to the health and mortality of people with intellectual disabilities.
Keywords: health; intellectual disability; systematic review.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.