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J Policy Pract Intellect Disabil ; 17(3): 256-269, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1949684


The current COVID-19 pandemic is a pressing world crisis and people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) are vulnerable due to disparity in healthcare provision and physical and mental health multimorbidity. While most people will develop mild symptoms upon contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), some will develop serious complications. The aim of this study is to present guidelines for the care and treatment of people with IDs during the COVID-19 pandemic for both community teams providing care to people with IDs and inpatient psychiatric settings. The guidelines cover specific issues associated with hospital passports, individual COVID-19 care plans, the important role of families and carers, capacity to make decisions, issues associated with social distancing, ceiling of care/treatment escalation plans, mental health and challenging behavior, and caring for someone suspected of contracting or who has contracted SARS-CoV-2 within community or inpatient psychiatric settings. We have proposed that the included conditions recommended by Public Health England to categorize someone as high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 should also include mental health and challenging behavior. There are specific issues associated with providing care to people with IDs and appropriate action must be taken by care providers to ensure that disparity of healthcare is addressed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that our guidance is focused upon healthcare delivery in England and invite others to augment our guidance for use in other jurisdictions.

BJPsych Open ; 6(6): e123, 2020 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-874115


BACKGROUND: Rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected people with intellectual disability disproportionately. Existing data does not provide enough information to understand factors associated with increased deaths in those with intellectual disability. Establishing who is at high risk is important in developing prevention strategies, given risk factors or comorbidities in people with intellectual disability may be different to those in the general population. AIMS: To identify comorbidities, demographic and clinical factors of those individuals with intellectual disability who have died from COVID-19. METHOD: An observational descriptive case series looking at deaths because of COVID-19 in people with intellectual disability was conducted. Along with established risk factors observed in the general population, possible specific risk factors and comorbidities in people with intellectual disability for deaths related to COVID-19 were examined. Comparisons between mild and moderate-to-profound intellectual disability subcohorts were undertaken. RESULTS: Data on 66 deaths in individuals with intellectual disability were analysed. This group was younger (mean age 64 years) compared with the age of death in the general population because of COVID-19. High rates of moderate-to-profound intellectual disability (n = 43), epilepsy (n = 29), mental illness (n = 29), dysphagia (n = 23), Down syndrome (n = 20) and dementia (n = 15) were observed. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study exploring associations between possible risk factors and comorbidities found in COVID-19 deaths in people with intellectual disability. Our data provides insight into possible factors for deaths in people with intellectual disability. Some of the factors varied between the mild and moderate-to-profound intellectual disability groups. This highlights an urgent need for further systemic inquiry and study of the possible cumulative impact of these factors and comorbidities given the possibility of COVID-19 resurgence.