Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Public Health. 1996 Oct;86(10):1422-9.

Predictors of mortality in children with severe mental retardation: the effect of placement.

Author information

Department of Statistics, University of California, Riverside 92521, USA.



This study was undertaken to assess the predictors of mortality in severely disabled children with mental retardation, and to compare risk-adjusted mortality rates for those living in institutions with rates for those living in the community.


Statistical analysis was performed on a set of 24,469 person-years, derived from a population of all children with severe mental retardation and a fragile medical condition who are registered with the California Department of Developmental Services. Variables included age, several measures of mobility, the presence or absence of tube feeding, the level of retardation, and certain adaptive skills.


Reduced mobility and the use of tube feeding were associated with a large increase in mortality risk. Own home residence and community care facilities have an estimated 25% higher risk-adjusted odds on mortality than institutions and health facilities.


The differential mortality in the placements points to a possible effect of quality of care. One consequence of the current trend toward deinstitutionalization may be an increased mortality rate in children with severe developmental disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center