Background. In Taiwan, current understanding is limited concerning the manner in which health services are utilized by persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). The objective of this study is to describe the patterns of inpatient care sought by persons with ID, and factors affecting inpatient care utilization. Method. The primary method used in this study was a cross-sectional survey of 1390 persons with ID in day care centres. Data were obtained from responses to a questionnaire, copies of which were mailed to 30 day care centres catering for persons with ID. The questionnaire assessed demographic and health characteristics, disability status, and inpatient care utilization for the 12 months leading up to the survey. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified factors independently associated with inpatient care. Results. Findings indicated that the average age of the people with ID in the centres was 13.7 years. Fifty per cent of people were afflicted with multiple handicaps, with an average of 26 outpatient visits made per person during the 12 months, and 16% of persons having been hospitalized within the previous year. The average hospital stay was 6 days. Inpatient care was more likely to be used by those individuals with an ID who were younger, had multiple handicaps, required rehabilitation, and had other disabilities and existing illnesses. Conclusions. The study concluded that the parameters describing age of persons with ID, as having an existing illness, and requiring rehabilitative care were statistically significant in the logistic regression model of the inpatient care.
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