Open Access Research article

Related factors and use of free preventive health services among adults with intellectual disabilities in Taiwan

Suh-May Yen12, Pei-Tseng Kung3, Li-Ting Chiu1 and Wen-Chen Tsai1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Services Administration, China Medical University, No. 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

2 Department of Chinese Medicine, Nantou Hospital, Nantou, Taiwan

3 Department of Healthcare Administration, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:248  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-248

Published: 12 June 2014



This study aimed to investigate the utilization of preventive health services in the adults with intellectual disabilities from the nationwide database.


The research method of this study is secondary data analysis. The data was obtained from three nationwide databases from 2006 to 2008. This study employed descriptive statistics to analyze the use and rate of preventive health services by intellectual disabled adults. Chi-square test was used to determine the relationship between the utilization of preventive health services and these variables. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to explore the factors that affect intellectual disabled adults’ use of preventive health services.


Our findings indicated 16.65% of people with intellectual disabilities aged over 40 years used the preventive health services. Females were more frequent users than males (18.27% vs. 15.21%, p <0.001). The utilization rate decreased with increasing severity of intellectual disabilities. The utilization was lowest (13.83%) for those with very severe disability, whereas that was the highest (19.38%) for those with mild severity. The factors significantly influencing utilization of the services included gender, age, and marital status, urbanization of resident areas, monthly payroll, low-income household status, catastrophic illnesses status and relevant chronic diseases and severity of disability.


Although Taiwan’s Health Promotion Administration (HPA) has provided free preventive health services for more than 15 years, people with intellectual disabilities using preventive health care tend to be low. Demographics, economic conditions, health status, relevant chronic diseases, environmental factor, and severity of disability are the main factors influencing the use of preventive healthcare. According to the present findings, it is recommended that the government should increase the reimbursement of the medical staff performing health examinations for the persons with intellectual disabilities. It is also suggested to conduct media publicity and education to the public and the nursing facilities for the utilization of adult preventive health services.

Intellectual disabilities; Disability; Preventive health service; Adult health examination