Background. The medical care needs and problems of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in the general community have received limited attention in previous studies. The aim of this article is to describe aspects of medical care utilization among people with ID living in the general community, with particular emphasis on examining the type and determinants of inpatient care utilization in Taiwan. Methods. A cross-sectional survey of people with intellectual disabilities was employed. A total of 997 respondents who provided fully completed data concerning inpatient care utilization were recruited into the analysis. Results. A total of 12.4% of individuals with intellectual disabilities had used inpatient care in the 7 months prior to the survey. The average number of inpatient care visits in that time was 1.43, with an average hospital stay of 16.91 days. Surgery, fever, gastrointestinal disorders, psychiatric disorders, and accident were the main causes of inpatient care utilization. A stepwise logistic model showed that the factors of holding a Major Illness Card, regular medicine-taking and self-perceived health status were statistically significant to inpatient care utilization of people with intellectual disabilities. Conclusions. Medical care providers and policy makers need to be aware that many people with intellectual disabilities have increased medical care needs that may require modification of standard medical care practices and service models in society.
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