Functional independence in adolescents and adults with down syndrome

Jin Ding Lin, Wen Xiu Chen, Lan Ping Lin, Shang Wei Hsu, Miao Ju Cho, Yu Ching Chou, Jia Ling Wu

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The purposes of this study were to investigate the level of functional independence of adolescents and adults with Down syndrome (DS) and to examine the influence of their demographic characteristics, level of disability, and comorbidities on their functional independence. The study population was obtained from the voluntary registry members of the Republic of China Foundation for Persons with DS in Taiwan. Two hundred and sixteen adolescents and adults with DS (蠇15 years) whose caregivers had completed valid structured questionnaires were recruited for the study. The present study used the Barthel Index (BI) of activities of daily living (ADL) to determine a baseline level of physical functioning in people with DS. The results showed that 1.9% of the cases were severely dependent (BI score 21-60), 20.4% of the cases were moderately dependent (BI score 61-90), 8.3% of the cases were mildly dependent (BI score 91-99), and 69.4% of the cases were totally independent (BI score 100). The multiple logistic regressions indicated that those DS respondents with milder disability level, no comorbidity conditions, and lower risk for dementia were more likely to be functional independence than their counterparts. of the respondents with DS. Regarding the improvement of the quality of life of people with DS, this study highlights the fact that action should be taken to increase the awareness of the functional independence among adults with DS and that specific interventions should be taken to improve the ability of adults with DS to carry out their activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Barthel Index (BI)
  • Down syndrome
  • Functional independence
  • Mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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