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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 Mar;197(3):182-6. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181923c8c.

Mental health in adults with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities: the role of recent life events and traumatic experiences across the life span.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, CIBER-SAM, Madrid, Spain. almudena.martorell@uam.es

Abstract

The aim of the present study is to investigate the association between recent life events and traumatic experiences across the life span and psychiatric disorders in people with ID. One hundred seventy-seven individuals with mild and moderate intellectual disability and their principal carers were assessed. Psychiatric disorders were evaluated with a semistructured psychiatric interview, the Psychiatric Assessment for Adults with Developmental Disabilities. This interview also includes a checklist of life events experienced over the previous 12 months, which was assessed through key informants. Presence of traumas was assessed through Allen's trauma history screen, also administered to key informants. After a descriptive analysis, binary logistic regression was used to see whether traumatic events and life events predicted the presence of ICD-10 disorders. A 75% of the participants had experienced at least 1 traumatic event during their life span, and 50% of the participants had experienced at least 1 life event in the 12 months previous to the study. Binary logistic regression showed that exposure to 1 or more traumatic experiences significantly increased the odds of a mental disorder (OR = 1.8), as did exposure to life events (OR = 1.4). However, when both life events and traumatic experiences were entered together in the model, calculation of odds ratios revealed that traumatic experiences significantly increased the odds of ICD-10 disorders (OR = 1.7) although life events were no longer significant. Though they have been less studied by the literature regarding predictors of mental illness in people with intellectual disability, traumatic experiences seem to play a more important role in psychopathology than life events.

PMID:
19282685
DOI:
10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181923c8c
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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