A systematic literature review on people with intellectual disability and health promotion

Mahfuz Ashraf, Parves Sultan, Rashadul Hasan, Reema Harrison, Reece R. Hinchcliff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


People with intellectual disability (ID) are vulnerable to poorer health outcomes than the general population, yet little is known about the optimal models for health promotion interventions for this population. This literature review was undertaken to identify the evidence base relating to health promotion for people with ID, the challenges experienced by this population and optimal approaches for intervention. Keywords, synonyms and subject headings relating to health promotion and ID were applied to eight electronic databases. Thirty-two studies met the inclusion criteria out of 7,390 research papers, and a narrative synthesis was undertaken to elicit key findings. Evidence to date suggests that the lack of theory-based interventions and an over-reliance on strategies that target cognitive beliefs are substantial challenges for developing effective interventions for the ID research. Whilst there is limited empirical evidence, the included studies suggest that tailored and theory-based interventions may be more successful in creating behavioural changes of the people with ID. The literature base is currently limited by a lack of comparable studies; making generalisations challenging. Greater theoretical and methodological justification to explain the personal, social, economic and behavioural drivers and consequences of health promotion interventions designed for people with ID are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Health intervention
  • Health promotion
  • Intellectual disability (ID)
  • Literature review


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