Professionals' prognoses for individuals with mental retardation: search for consensus within interdisciplinary settings

Am J Ment Retard. 1994 Jan;98(4):519-26.


Previous studies have shown a lack of consensus in professionals' prognoses for individuals with mental retardation. The present study was designed to continue the investigation of professionals' prognoses for the achieved capabilities and residential and vocational placement of individuals with mild, moderate, or severe mental retardation. Four professional groups (N = 567 subjects) from 50 of the 52 University Affiliated Programs throughout the country were surveyed. The Prognostic Beliefs Scale was used. Results showed that physicians had significantly lower expectations and more pessimistic prognoses for children with moderate or severe mental retardation than did the other professionals. The only consensus on prognosis was for children with mild mental retardation. Results call into question one of the assumed benefits of interdisciplinary teams--communication--and its impact on professionals' expectations and prognoses for individuals with mental retardation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Down Syndrome / classification
  • Down Syndrome / psychology
  • Down Syndrome / rehabilitation
  • Education of Intellectually Disabled
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / classification
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Prognosis
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational*
  • Socialization