Perspectives on intellectual disability in Taiwan: Epidemiology, policy and services for children and adults

Lan Ping Lin, Jin Ding Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present review examines the most recent published references to epidemiology, healthcare needs and utilization and social and health policy relating to people with intellectual disability in Taiwan. METHOD: Electronic searches of Medline, PubMed and PsychInfo literature using the key terms of epidemiology, etiology, welfare policy, health policy, health services, intellectual disability, learning disability and mental retardation as well as a thorough manual search for relevant literature. RECENT FINDINGS: The administrative prevalence of intellectual disability was 0.318-0.396%, and men accounted for a higher percentage of cases than women in Taiwan. Institutionalized care still dominates disability services provided in this society, and the number of institutions and staff working therein has increased steadily in recent years. Many studies also identify the high risk for ill health accompanied by physical/mental diseases in people with intellectual disability, with this group also requiring more healthcare services than the general population in Taiwan. There are still many barriers to accessibility and availability of health and social services confronting people with intellectual disability and their caregivers under the National Health Insurance scheme in Taiwan. SUMMARY: As a result of this review process, this paper suggests that future study should focus on an evaluation of the efficacy of current health and social policies related to people with intellectual disability, and that supportive health environments be initiated for this group of people living in institutions or in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • epidemiology
  • health needs
  • health policy
  • intellectual disability
  • social policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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