Care management in a French cohort with down syndrome from the AnDDI-Rares/CNSA study

Eur J Med Genet. 2021 Jul 15;64(10):104290. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2021.104290. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder. In individuals with DS, a multidisciplinary approach to care is required to prevent multiple medical complications. The aim of this study was to describe the rehabilitation, medical care, and educational and social support provided to school-aged French DS patients with varying neuropsychological profiles. A mixed study was conducted. Quantitative data were obtained from a French multicentre study that included patients aged 4-20 years with diverse genetic syndromes. Qualitative data were collected by semi-structured face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Ninety-five DS subjects with a mean age of 10.9 years were included. Sixty-six per cent had a moderate intellectual disability (ID) and 18.9% had a severe ID. Medical supervision was generally multidisciplinary but access to medical specialists was often difficult. In terms of education, 94% of children under the age of six were in typical classes. After the age of 15, 75% were in medico-social institutions. Analysis of multidisciplinary rehabilitation conducted in the public and private sectors revealed failure to access physiotherapy, psychomotor therapy and occupational therapy, but not speech therapy. The main barrier encountered by patients was the difficulty accessing appropriate facilities due to a lack of space and long waiting lists. In conclusion, children and adolescents with DS generally received appropriate care. Though the management of children with DS has been improved considerably, access to health facilities remains inadequate.

Keywords: Down syndrome; Educational support; Intellectual deficiency; Multidisciplinary care; Social support.